Residential Design

VOL1 2019

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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The Jewel in the Craft FINNE ARCHITECTS SEATTLE Seattle-based architect Nils Finne, AIA, just returned from his son's wedding in Miami. Most parents of the groom might pay for the rehearsal dinner, and maybe chip in for the wedding reception and the honeymoon—all very welcome contributions, for sure, but pretty pro forma. Nils, on the other hand, designed a 9-foot-by-8-foot, vaulted steel chuppa with lacy, laser- cut steel panels, and had it shipped from the fabricator in Seattle. There was some drama when the piece arrived "completely mangled," as he puts it, but they were able to get it resolved and installed with just 25 minutes to spare before the ceremony began. Such is the life of an architect, a profession where creativity, construction, and emotional clients all collide. Nils wouldn't have it any other way. He believes it's the intersection of all these elements that gives mean- ing to architecture. He's looking for his work to have relevance and reso- nance for years to come. To that end, he shuns fashion in favor of careful fabrication, practicing what he calls a "crafted modernism" that revels in bringing human beings and materi- als together in ways that shape and change them both. "The chuppa transformed the venue—a rather neutral Herzog & de Meuron building—into something magical," he says. What's powerful about the canopy isn't just the beau- Photo: Courtesy Finne Architects Renderings this page: Finne Architects Natural light is a precious commodity in the Pacific Northwest, so Nils (pictured) applies his Nordic know-how to bring in as much as possible—often through manipulations of roof structure, as in this house under construction on Bainbridge Island. Intricate, sculptural metalwork is a firm signature. ty of its form, but also the sheltering space it creates within for the wedding couple. Now that the wedding is over, the chuppa will morph into a garden trellis and aide-memoire at the home of the bride's mother. "Perhaps it will grow covered with vegetation and rust over time," Nils muses. "I haven't experienced a wedding before where there's a continuous reminder of it in a piece of architecture." Clearly, the notion gives him pleasure. Kitchen Experiential Nils first captured national attention several decades ago with his artful renovations of Seattle houses. His "crafted modernism" was most evident in the kitchens, which are routinely design-intensive spaces under any cir- cumstances. His, however, stood out as especially sculptural and inventive, with meticulous attention to detail. Perusing the intricate custom cabinetry, art glass counters, and sinewy metalwork that 17 VOL. 1, 2019 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM PRO-FILE DESIGN

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