A Minimalist Home in Seattle Embodies a Simpler Way of Life

By Michele Koh Morollo
Sited among lush trees on an 11,303-square-foot lot, this tranquil dwelling is deeply connected to nature.

When a couple were seeking to simplify their lives and live with less, Seattle–based practice Suyama Peterson Deguchi turned that vision into reality with a beautiful 2,047-square-foot home

Located on the water's edge in the southwest neighborhood of Fauntleroy, the minimalist abode named Junsei—meaning "purity" in Japanese—beautifully embraces its natural surroundings. 

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"With the Junsei House, designing for sustainability was not only about material choices or products, but rather about shifting one's attitude and explaining how essential design elements can alter the living habits of occupants," states Suyama.

"With the Junsei House, designing for sustainability was not only about material choices or products, but rather about shifting one's attitude and explaining how essential design elements can alter the living habits of occupants," states Suyama.

Respecting the existing site, Suyama and his team left all of the trees in place. They also ensured the trees were fully protected during the excavation process.

Respecting the existing site, Suyama and his team left all of the trees in place. They also ensured the trees were fully protected during the excavation process.

"The Junsei House was created with a holistic approach to designing architecture that is sustainable. The home's spaces give one a feeling of completeness, eliminating the need for more things," says George Suyama, the firm’s founder.

Natural light is able to flood inside thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows.

Natural light is able to flood inside thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows.

"Simple, efficient, and quiet in design, the house is a reaction to today’s technology and offers a refuge in an ever changing, chaotic world," he goes on to explain.

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Working with a limited budget and material palette, the architects thoughtfully designed the home and aimed to do more with less.  

Working with a limited budget and material palette, the architects thoughtfully designed the home and aimed to do more with less.  

The result is a visually clean house composed of a pure vernacular shape, with all functional elements distilled to their basic requirements.

The result is a visually clean house composed of a pure vernacular shape, with all functional elements distilled to their basic requirements.

"The structural system allowed the interior volume to be completely empty, creating a pure skin that helps to accentuate the white box containing the service elements and the loft space above," says Suyama.  

"The structural system allowed the interior volume to be completely empty, creating a pure skin that helps to accentuate the white box containing the service elements and the loft space above," says Suyama.  

The floor plans was designed to be fairly open so that the spaces left were flexible enough to be used for a variety of purposes, depending on seasonal conditions of occasions. 

The floor plans was designed to be fairly open so that the spaces left were flexible enough to be used for a variety of purposes, depending on seasonal conditions of occasions. 

Corrugated metal siding was used for the exterior of the house, and natural wood and plywood were used throughout the interiors.

Corrugated metal siding was used for the exterior of the house, and natural wood and plywood were used throughout the interiors.

Except for the Rex dining chairs by Rex Kralj and a William Natural Fiber Lounge Chair by Janus Et Cie, the majority of the other furniture and decor items were found objects.

Except for the Rex dining chairs by Rex Kralj and a William Natural Fiber Lounge Chair by Janus Et Cie, the majority of the other furniture and decor items were found objects.

The flat grain of the windows' wooden frames make them appear as it they were carved from the façade.

The flat grain of the windows' wooden frames make them appear as it they were carved from the façade.

The window system, which was built on site, repeats the simple vernacular geometry of the exterior.   

The window system, which was built on site, repeats the simple vernacular geometry of the exterior.   

The floor plan drawing.

The floor plan drawing.

Project Credits: 

Architecture and interior design:  Suyama Peterson Deguchi

Builder: Crocker Construction Co Inc.

Structural and civil engineering: Swenson Say Faget 

Landscape design: Alchemie 

Cabinetry: IKEA

Geotech engineering: Earth Solutions NW 

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