This house with a contrasting facade is called Terrace Residence and was built by Open Studio Collective in Washington State. What is special about this facade besides its colors? The client handcrafted the dark facade boards using Shou Sugi Ban, a traditional Japanese technique for charring wood to increase its resistance to moisture and insects. The rest of the building was covered with pale, whitewashed cedar boards. The wooden exterior was chosen to contrast the look of the more traditional surrounding houses.
Inside the house is upside down. On the upper floor there is a kitchen, living and dining room and a guest room with its own bathroom. Continuous stairs run the full width of the house and lead the back door down and into the surrounding forest. From the front door you can look down your back through both levels of the house and see the forest. The stairs help organize the program into two different halves. It describes it as the “central spine”. On the first level, it separates the living rooms from the kitchen and dining room. Both rooms have access to a balcony that offers a wide view of the landscape. On the main floor is half of the back to the master suite, including a walk-in closet and access to a small terrace outside the bedroom that is protected from the rain by the balcony on the main level. The studio included the bedrooms for the family’s twin sons on the opposite side. They are arranged symmetrically and connected by a sliding door.
The interiors are characterized by clear lines and minimal decoration. However, the architects wanted to arouse visual interest by using color-blocking shades of blue and green in the kitchen and bathroom.