Perched atop a steep hillside surrounded by green space, Skybox is designed to encompass more loft-like qualities than those of a traditional house. Decks and terraces are created within the dwelling itself, leaving the surroundings untouched. The house is also designed with a minimal foot print to further reduce the impact of its natural surroundings. Indigenous seeds and plants were immediately planted after the completion of the construction to let nature reclaim the land. Only invasive species have been removed to aid in this process. The result is a “garden” that takes care of itself.
The simple geometric structure has an ebony stained wood finish, interrupted only by elements made of aluminum, creating just the right contrast, still allowing the house to blend in to its surroundings. The exterior siding, made from clear redwood cedar, was carefully selected as an ideal solution for the Pacific Northwest climate. The overlapping boards allow it to expand and contract as the temperature changes without allowing moisture to penetrate. The natural oil stain has a low toxic impact, and requires minimal maintenance. All exterior metal elements such as railings and stairs are made from clear anodized aluminum, requiring no up keep what so ever. All window frames have thermal breaks, and a gas filled cavity between the glass panes to help insulate, preventing extreme outside climates to affect the interior temperature of the house. The window panes are also equipped with a polarizing film to help reflect the heat of the sun.
Skybox has an open, flowing floor plan, allowing one space to flow into the next, creating a flexible and space efficient dwelling that lets light flow in from all directions. Light and sunshine is further used to provide solar gain in order to help heat the house during the cold months, reducing the use of the energy efficient gas powered furnace. Big windows are largely omitted in the south facing façade, reducing the heat penetration during the summer months, making the need for an air conditioning unit unnecessary to further help save energy. A fire place stack is strategically located in the center of the house, not just acting as cozy gathering point, but also helping in quickly heating the house when needed.
The interior layout of the house is designed according to the rhythm of daily functions - both practical and whimsical - creating both a natural division and integration of space. Steps in floors and shifts in ceiling heights are used to emphasize this rather than the use of walls and doors. The house completely lacks hallways and other dead spaces in an effort to maximize the efficiency of the space. The social area is strategically placed to act as a privacy buffer between the more private areas like bedrooms and work spaces.
The interior is further designed to easily allow the space to adapt as its inhabitants needs change over time. A sitting area in the master bedroom is designed to easily be closed of using sliding doors, allowing it to become a nursery when a new addition to the family comes. By extending an existing wall, the downstairs open studio can be turned into an additional bedroom as a family grows.
Material Used :
1. Siding: Oil based ebony stained Clear Redwood Cedar + Clear anodized aluminum
2. Railings: Aluminum, custom designed for project
3. Windows: Milgard Slimline in clear anodized aluminum
4. Exterior staircase and ratinaing walls: Hot Rolled Steel, custom designed for project
5. Framing: custom steel moment frames and engineered wood trusses
6. Sliding door hardware: Krownlab Oden Top Mount in Brushed Stainless
7. Floors: ebony stained oak and plywood
8. Interior doors: Ebony stained red oak
9. Decks: Trex