Residential Design

Vol 1, 2018

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

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Page 32 of 71

more money on heating, even though the energy use is below average for a house in this region, let's do it to afford views that connect us to nature." Windows and doors are triple-pane, and their mullions are reclaimed redwood with a water-based polyurethane coating. "There are no stains in the whole house," the husband says. "The mullions will weather natural- ly to gray," as will the building's cypress rain-screen cladding. Without soffits, chases, or registers, the mechanical system is invisible. The house is heated and cooled with a geothermal system and radiant flooring. The building envelope was heav- ily insulated and the stud cavities used as a plenum to carry air-conditioning, which comes out of a slot hidden behind ceiling panels. Reality-Based Architecture Environmentally sound and aesthetically glorious, the house's interior is all warm Douglas fir wood, with commodious spaces meant for entertaining. Acoustical concerns led to an overall aesthetic of wood-slat ceilings above exposed rafters. Jim was worried about noise because the north wall's large, solid surface makes it highly refractive, and the south wall, mostly glass, has a tremendous amount of reverberation. To mitigate sound, the construction crew laid 1x4 boards three-quarters of an inch apart on top of the ceiling rafters, then topped them with black fabric and acoustical batting so all sound absorption happens in the ceiling. Jim prefers to use cable lighting rather than ceiling fixtures because you can see the negative and positive wires, and they demonstrate how electricity gets to the light source. He used dowels to "avoid the ugly hardware that usually comes with cable lighting." The crew drilled a hole in each rafter and slid a dowel between them. The electrician installed the trans- former and fasteners, ran the two cables out from the fixtures and drilled them through the dowel, then turnbuckled them tight against the dowel. For Jim, the emotional parts of our lives are the important ones, because they're what make us human. "We're looking at reality and trying to define what's beautiful about it," Jim says. "We choreograph the work to amplify every tangible experience to the point where it is emotionally compelling." He says he was genetically predisposed to these lessons learned from his former teacher, Louis Kahn, who changed his view of the world. Jim adds that a lot of "architecture seems so shallow— like fashion, like style; ninety percent of it ignores the real beauty of what's outside your window every day. There's no limit to the shapes and styles that can be derived from just looking at tangible reality and trying to define what's beautiful about it. If there's a big idea on this building, it's to just do that." Above: Trees were just as important as pond and meadow for this project, so the architect pulled the program into separate volumes spread across the site to save them. Look for a new 240-page monograph on Cutler Anderson's houses, due this spring from art publisher Oscar Riera Ojeda. 33 VOL. 1, 2018 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM CASE STUDY

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