When a 69-year-old retiree decided to build a new home in a neighborhood north of Seattle, he wanted a place that was reminded him of his past but with features that looked toward the future. Architects Tiffany Bowie and Joe Malboeuf of Malboeuf Bowie Architecture worked with the owner to design a home that met passive house certification standards, a complex process that ensures extreme energy efficiency. Inspired by Scandinavian design, the architects focused on incorporating simple forms and plenty of open spaces. The façade is clad in hand-charred cedar in a herringbone pattern. The wood's shou sugi ban treatment is a nod to the owner's travels and work in Japan and also helps protect the material from the rainy climate.
One of the major challenges the architects faced was bringing in natural light, without impacting the energy efficiency of the house. They used carefully placed, triple-glazed windows to brighten the space while maintaining privacy. They also added smart home technology by Kirino to optimize the house's heating and ventilation systems and minimize energy waste. With its passive house features and striking design, this is a home that enhances the environment in more ways than one.