Roughly 150 miles southeast of Seattle, a new arts community is burgeoning in Tieton, a small agricultural town in the rolling hills of central Washington. Here, a number of creatives are taking up residence in former fruit-processing warehouses that today stand emptied amongst vast apple and cherry orchards. After buying one such warehouse and the roughly one-acre lot it sits upon, artist and collector Michael Northrup set out to construct his dream retreat next door.
With the help of Seattle-based firm Best Practice Architecture, Michael created a new, industrial-inspired residence adjacent to the existing 1950s building. "Michael had a fairly open-ended desire for a unique weekend place that took advantage of the old warehouse structure," says architect Ian Butcher, founding partner at Best Practice Architecture. "It also needed to maximize the amazing orchard and mountain views," Butcher continues.
The team at Best Practice Architecture embraced Michael’s appreciation of the unorthodox, designing a humble two-story, shed-roofed dwelling that nods to the resident’s affection for the landscape, as well as the agrarian quirks of the neighboring warehouse. "Michael wanted to keep things simple and modest, but without being afraid of doing something a little bit eccentric," says Butcher.
The new, 1,110-square-foot home—which is linked to the original structure by a courtyard—expresses its function with a raw, unfinished material palette. "The most important element in selecting finishes was to make sure everything was low-maintenance and rugged, both inside and out," says Butcher.
Exposed concrete floors on the lower level are softened by construction-grade plywood floors and walls upstairs. "The plywood is an economical way to add a higher level of finish and also link to the warehouse, where every wall is finished with [the material]" says Butcher.
Painted blue details and a yellow mural adjacent to the entrance inject a subtle playfulness to the exterior, which is clad in corrugated metal siding and concrete blocks. "We love when we can add a splash of color, as it allows our clients to express their own personality," says Butcher.
The new residence features walk-out covered patios on the ground floor, which holds the bedroom and bathroom, as well as on the upper level, where the primary living space is located.
The adjacent warehouse now houses ancillary creative spaces including a workshop, a writer’s cabin, and a Timberline trailer that has been repurposed as guest quarters. Michael even has plans to open the barn structure to the local community for creative events and collaborations. "I love how the new structure is framed by the original warehouse," says Butcher. "I think the two work so well together."
More from Best Practice Architecture:
General Contractor: Greg Stevensen
Structural Engineer: Harriott Valentine Engineers
Cabinetry Design/Installation: Canyon Creek
Interior Design: Best Practice Architecture / @best_practice
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