Refined, minimal and elemental: these three expressions have been the inspiration behind a lately accomplished net-zero home in West Seattle. Constructed to experience the test of time and embrace elegance, this home with an unobtrusive aesthetic and restrained size takes inspiration from the Japanese concept of Shibui.
The concept of Shibui in design favors honesty, simple and subtle beauty. The architectural team of SHED followed the client’s suggestion to make the most of this approach by making a minimal-yet-elegant home with some superfluous touches. The architects aimed to achieve maximum efficiency, privacy, and greenery through design. Despite the restrained size as compared to other luxury homes, this 1,153 square foot home still has an open-plan kitchen, a living and dining area, a den that can be used as an office or guest room, two baths, a garage with an electric-car charging facility, bike storage and a trash room.
The home maintains a small carbon footprint with energy-efficient features such as LED fixtures, Water-Sense-certified fixtures and Passive-House certified windows for high thermal performance. To add more value to the idea of privacy, the home is set back from the street to distance itself from the public realm and in the process, they gained an additional bonus of preserving an existing cherry tree on site. A non- infiltrating bio-retention tank collects rain and stormwater which filters the collected water before applying it to landscaping inside the raised yard.
The location of interior spaces is guided by privacy and control, hence they feature diagonal views and sliding doors that block neighbor views. The project has a large roof that accommodates a substantial solar panel system and guards the home against the elements. The home opens fully on the upper level to the west deck through large patio sliders while large overhangs protect the occupants.
The net-zero design creates a place that feels private and voluminous, open to surrounding greenery in a robust and restrained environment.