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An Epic Plot

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Architect Steve Bull designed a high-impact, low-maintenance home for a pair of intrepid clients in Alaska, but that was only the beginning of the adventure.

  • 
  Prayer flags flutter alongside Leinicke and Navitsky's house, which was designed by Steve Bull to require very little upkeep, both inside and out.  Photo by Erik Johnson.
    Prayer flags flutter alongside Leinicke and Navitsky's house, which was designed by Steve Bull to require very little upkeep, both inside and out. Photo by Erik Johnson.
  • 
  The standing-seam metal siding was rolled on site in an effort to reduce waste. It was prefinished with Kynar paint in the color Preweathered Galvalume.  Photo by Erik Johnson.
    The standing-seam metal siding was rolled on site in an effort to reduce waste. It was prefinished with Kynar paint in the color Preweathered Galvalume. Photo by Erik Johnson.
  • 
  The open-plan living room and kitchen are a giant playground for five-year-old Suresh and his parents, as is the durable sofa and table base from Room & Board. Steel alcoves inset into the white-stained cedar wall shelter firewood, books, and treasured objects.  Photo by Erik Johnson.
    The open-plan living room and kitchen are a giant playground for five-year-old Suresh and his parents, as is the durable sofa and table base from Room & Board. Steel alcoves inset into the white-stained cedar wall shelter firewood, books, and treasured objects. Photo by Erik Johnson.
  • 
  The thick peacock rug from CB2 offers a cushioned surface for energetic play.  Photo by Erik Johnson.
    The thick peacock rug from CB2 offers a cushioned surface for energetic play. Photo by Erik Johnson.
  • 
  The loft above the living room is Suresh's terrain, given over to toys, books, and a colorful Lego table. The Clerestory windows maximize the natural light in the house—essential since there are only three hours of sun on a typical winter day.  Photo by Erik Johnson.
    The loft above the living room is Suresh's terrain, given over to toys, books, and a colorful Lego table. The Clerestory windows maximize the natural light in the house—essential since there are only three hours of sun on a typical winter day. Photo by Erik Johnson.
  • 
  The meditation room has a low narrow window overlooking a birch grove. The tatami mats are from the website orientalfurniture.com.  Photo by Erik Johnson.
    The meditation room has a low narrow window overlooking a birch grove. The tatami mats are from the website orientalfurniture.com. Photo by Erik Johnson.
  • 
  Hands OffArchitect Steve Bull aimed to create a home for Leinicke and Navitsky that was virtually maintenance-free. To that end, the exterior is standing-seam metal siding that will never need to be painted; the cedar walls are finished with an eco-friendly Osmo semisolid stain rather than paint; and the floors are end-grain fir, a recycled by-product of door manufacturing that “is so tough it will outlast most buildings,” says Bull.
custombiltmetals.com
osmona.com
oregonlumber.com  Photo by Erik Johnson.

    Hands Off

    Architect Steve Bull aimed to create a home for Leinicke and Navitsky that was virtually maintenance-free. To that end, the exterior is standing-seam metal siding that will never need to be painted; the cedar walls are finished with an eco-friendly Osmo semisolid stain rather than paint; and the floors are end-grain fir, a recycled by-product of door manufacturing that “is so tough it will outlast most buildings,” says Bull.

    custombiltmetals.com

    osmona.com

    oregonlumber.com

    Photo by Erik Johnson.
  • 
  MicromanagementA Weil-McLain gas-fired boiler and underfloor radiant heating keep the house comfortable year-round—as do the individual programmable thermostats installed in almost every room, seven in all. That means the couple can lower the heat in rooms they use less frequently while keeping things toasty in the places they spend the most time. It’s a smart way to maximize energy efficiency through Alaska’s disparate seasons.
weil-mclain.com  Photo by Erik Johnson.

    Micromanagement

    A Weil-McLain gas-fired boiler and underfloor radiant heating keep the house comfortable year-round—as do the individual programmable thermostats installed in almost every room, seven in all. That means the couple can lower the heat in rooms they use less frequently while keeping things toasty in the places they spend the most time. It’s a smart way to maximize energy efficiency through Alaska’s disparate seasons.

    weil-mclain.com

    Photo by Erik Johnson.
  • 
  Back on TrackIn cold places, recessed lighting in a vaulted ceiling can lead to water vapor problems in the roof. So Bull inset standard surface-mounted Juno track lights into a notch. “With a flush track the common track light looks much more sophisticated,” he observes.
junolightinggroup.com  Photo by Erik Johnson.

    Back on Track

    In cold places, recessed lighting in a vaulted ceiling can lead to water vapor problems in the roof. So Bull inset standard surface-mounted Juno track lights into a notch. “With a flush track the common track light looks much more sophisticated,” he observes.

    junolightinggroup.com

    Photo by Erik Johnson.
  • 
  Pocket Change“We wanted the main spaces of the house to flow into each other while still being able to isolate areas for pri­vacy,” says Bull, who designed floor-to-ceiling pocket doors that slide into the wall, closing off the bedroom wing, the med­i­tation room, and the entryway. “We spec’d Häfele Hawa Junior sliding door hardware. At about $225 per door it’s a bit more expensive than some other brands, but it is very smooth and quiet.”
hafele.com  Photo by Erik Johnson.

    Pocket Change

    “We wanted the main spaces of the house to flow into each other while still being able to isolate areas for pri­vacy,” says Bull, who designed floor-to-ceiling pocket doors that slide into the wall, closing off the bedroom wing, the med­i­tation room, and the entryway. “We spec’d Häfele Hawa Junior sliding door hardware. At about $225 per door it’s a bit more expensive than some other brands, but it is very smooth and quiet.”

    hafele.com

    Photo by Erik Johnson.

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