The Park Modern Turns 10


[Photo by BUILD LLC] The University District’s mixed-use Park Modern building recently turned ten years old and the project offers a wealth of knowledge in Seattle’s current real estate market. Having weathered a decade’s worth of gray winters, a great recession, and the daily wear and tear of an urban environment, it’s an appropriate time for a performance review. The Seattle building’s footprint was configured to optimize the small 7,500sf site, an area equivalent to 1.5 single family home sites. Two small, adjacent parcels had been purchased and combined, which allowed the project to have critical mass in scale as well as enough value for construction financing. Although a project of smaller margins, this type of bootstrapping may be even more relevant with today’s challenges of creating affordable housing using modestly scaled infill projects. As available City lots are becoming scarce, while the city’s population continues to grow, the
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The Park Modern Turns 10


[Photo by BUILD LLC] The University District’s mixed-use Park Modern building recently turned ten years old, and the project offers a wealth of knowledge in Seattle’s current real estate market. Having weathered a decade’s worth of gray winters, a great recession, and the daily wear and tear of an urban environment, it’s an appropriate time for a performance review. The Seattle building’s footprint was configured to optimize the small 7,500sf site, an area equivalent to 1.5 single family home sites. Two small, adjacent parcels had been purchased and combined, which allowed the project to have critical mass in scale as well as enough value for construction financing. Although a project of smaller margins, this type of bootstrapping may be even more relevant with today’s challenges of creating affordable housing using modestly scaled infill projects. As available City lots are becoming scarce, while the city’s population continues to grow, the
Continue reading "The Park Modern Turns 10"

An Interactive Film Challenges Us to Expand Our Definition of Home

                                <em>The following post is brought to you by <a href="http://loveyourhome.orsted.com/"  rel="nofollow noopener external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Ørsted</a>. Our partners are hand-picked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design.</em>
                                                <a href="https://design-milk.com/interactive-film-challenges-us-expand-definition-home/orsted-home_images_2_english/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="https://design-milk.com/images/2017/12/Orsted-Home_Images_2_English-810x456.jpg" alt="An Interactive Film Challenges Us to Expand Our Definition of Home" /></a>
                                Ask ten people about their definition of &#8220;home&#8221; and you could very well hear ten completely different answers. A house in the suburbs. A first apartment in the city. A solitary cabin in the countryside. But given the opportunity to investigate the feelings and memories surrounding the concept of home, those differences tend to melt away from the physical and toward the emotional – &#8220;the safe place&#8221; poet Maya Angelou once described as &#8220;where we can go as we are and not be questioned&#8221;. In essence, home exists as a feeling as much as a physical address.
Home – an interactive film created by Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam for Danish green energy company, Ørsted – explores the deep seeded connection between our emotions and the place we most
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Flush Base Guide


[Photo by BUILD LLC] Our second edition of the BUILD Manual covers an interior flush base design that we’ve been refining for years, and we’re at a good point to share the detail along with the relevant technicalities and construction methods. The minimal aesthetic and durability have made it a favorite detail at BUILD, and we design it into most of our residential projects. It also integrates nicely with windows, doors, and cabinetry. While it’s a bit more intricate than an applied base, we’ve found that once the trades are trained on the detail, it’s a straightforward and reliable application. We’ve covered the various transitions using the flush base detail here and here.
[Click for downloadable jpeg] Stay tuned for additional BUILD Guides which cover the design and construction details of modern architecture, and cheers from team BUILD.

Case Study 2017 Stairs


[All images by BUILD LLC] BUILD recently completed the CSH2017 in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. It’s the latest in the Case Study House series and, like the others, it improves on the model, tweaks some design components, and experiments with others. The grade sits a full 14 feet above the street, while the hillside slopes parallel to the street. In order to produce an efficient and usable residence, the design process focused heavily on the stair design strategy, both inside and out. Today’s post reviews the vertical circulation of the structure from bottom to top. In order to navigate from the sidewalk to the front door, two types of stairs were implemented. A cast-in-place, concrete slab on grade stair ascends to the top of the hill and is lit at every fourth step by a recessed tread mount exterior grade light by Vista. Because the height between the top
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Case Study 2017 Stairs


[All images by BUILD LLC] BUILD recently completed the CSH2017 in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. It’s the latest in the Case Study House series and, like the others, it improves on the model, tweaks some design components, and experiments with others. The grade sits a full 14 feet above the street, while the hillside slopes parallel to the street. In order to produce an efficient and usable residence, the design process focused heavily on the stair design strategy, both inside and out. Today’s post reviews the vertical circulation of the structure from bottom to top. In order to navigate from the sidewalk to the front door, two types of stairs were implemented. A cast-in-place, concrete slab on grade stair ascends to the top of the hill and is lit at every fourth step by a recessed tread mount exterior grade light by Vista. Because the height between the top
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Case Study House 2016 Exterior


[Images by BUILD LLC unless noted otherwise] With summer having arrived in the Pacific Northwest and the vegetation in full bloom, it’s an excellent time to review the Case Study House 2016 exterior design. Today’s post covers the envelope of the residence as well as the landscape and hardscape. An in-depth look at the CSH2016 interior package along with specifications and materials can be found here. Like other examples in the BUILD Case Study House series, the CSH2016 is an exercise in simplicity. The design is pared down to its essence without removing poetry. Conceptually, the structure is comprised of three volumes, which fit together like a Japanese puzzle box. The largest volume is wrapped with a Pure White Oculus Aluminum Composite rainscreen system. The volume at the southeast corner is sided with horizontal T&G 1×4 clear vertical cedar with a light gray stain (Daly’s #70022) which wraps
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Advanced Rainscreen Envelope Detailing


[All images by BUILD LLC] There are a number of rainscreen details that team BUILD has been fine-tuning and implementing and the recently completed Pham Residence in Bellevue, Washington is an excellent project to review the latest application. Because the structure is a simple box, there was more reliance on the rainscreen to develop massing, depth and articulation (more information about the genesis of the design can be found here). While the structural systems of the residence (the shearwalls and bearing walls) remain in a single vertical plane along the east elevation, it was important that the envelope show a change in both plane and material. This strategy relies on both a deep and a shallow rainscreen system, where each depth is developed via the thickness of the vertical battens separating the rainscreen from the water resistant barrier. In the case of the Pham Residence, the rainscreen is either Oculus aluminum
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A Residential Guide to Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning


[Images by BUILD LLC] The Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system of a residence is one of the most important components to select early in the design process. The solution depends heavily on where the home is located regionally and locally, as well as the specific desires of the inhabitants. The result between a thoughtful system and an undiscerning one can be the difference between comfort and misery during temperature extremes, while making decisions about the type of HVAC system during construction can be costly and adversely affect the design of the home. Today’s post is part technical guide and part professional advice focused on the Pacific Northwest climate zone. It’s also exactly what we tell our clients about the three most important HVAC systems here in the PNW — radiant, whole house forced air, and the mini-split system. RADIANT HEAT SYSTEMS
Radiant heat is, in our opinion, the
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A Residential Guide to Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning


[Images by BUILD LLC] The Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system of a residence is one of the most important components to select early in the design process. The solution depends heavily on where the home is located regionally and locally, as well as the specific desires of the inhabitants. The result between a thoughtful system and an undiscerning one can be the difference between comfort and misery during temperature extremes, while making decisions about the type of HVAC system during construction can be costly and adversely affect the design of the home. Today’s post is part technical guide and part professional advice focused on the Pacific Northwest climate zone. It’s also exactly what we tell our clients about the three most important HVAC systems here in the PNW — radiant, whole house forced air, and the mini-split system. RADIANT HEAT SYSTEMS
Radiant heat is, in our opinion, the
Continue reading "A Residential Guide to Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning"

The Logic of Elevation Design


[All images by BUILD LLC] Perched at the top of a hill in Bellevue, Washington, BUILD’s most recently completed project, the Pham Residence, commands sweeping views on all sides. Lake Washington, downtown Seattle, and the Olympic Mountain range are prominent to the west, while downtown Bellevue and the Cascade Mountain range are revealed to the east. Needless to say, the striking views are an important element to the design of the home, both inside and out. Along with capturing key sightlines to the mountains and cities beyond, there is also the need for screening from the street and shade from the sun. Subsequently, there is a delicate dance performed by the architecture at the east façade of the residence, where desire for light and view are balanced with the need for privacy and protection. While the envelope of the project is designed as a three-dimensional element, today’s post will primarily
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The Easter Eggs of Architecture


[All images by BUILD LLC]

Last fall we wrapped up the Case Study House 2016, and its completion has been an excellent opportunity to test out our architectural hypotheses on the next evolution of BUILD-developed projects. There were several design concepts we’ve had our eye on with the CSH2016, and today’s post covers what we like to refer to as the architectural Easter egg — an unexpected design surprise to be stumbled upon. Because the project is a private residence, we wanted to build in a pleasant architectural moment to be discovered from the well-traveled sidewalk out front.

The structure was designed with a rational stack of three single-run stairways from the ground floor to the roof terrace. The stair runs are indicated with a recessed channel at the envelope of the house. This channel incorporates a vertical column of glass and aluminum rainscreen panels to match the clear

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