The Mazama house is located in the Methow Valley of Washington State, a secluded mountain valley on the eastern edge of the North Cascades, about 200 miles northeast of Seattle.

The house has been carefully placed in a copse of trees at the easterly end of a large meadow. Two major building volumes indicate the house organization. A grounded 2-story bedroom wing anchors a raised living pavilion that is lifted off the ground by a series of exposed steel columns. Seen from the access road, the large meadow in front of the house continues right under the main living space, making the living pavilion into a kind of bridge structure spanning over the meadow grass, with the house touching the ground lightly on six steel columns. The raised floor level provides enhanced views as well as keeping the main living level well above the 3-4 feet of winter snow accumulation that is typical for the upper Methow Valley.

To further emphasize the idea of lightness, the exposed wood structure of the living pavilion roof changes pitch along its length, so the roof warps upward at each end. The interior exposed wood beams appear like an unfolding fan as the roof pitch changes. The main interior bearing columns are steel with a tapered “V”-shape, recalling the lightness of a dancer.

The house reflects the continuing FINNE investigation into the idea of crafted modernism, with cast bronze inserts at the front door, variegated laser-cut steel railing panels, a curvilinear cast-glass kitchen counter, waterjet-cut aluminum light fixtures, and many custom furniture pieces. The house interior has been designed to be completely integral with the exterior. The living pavilion contains more than twelve pieces of custom furniture and lighting, creating a highly crafted interior environment.

The house has been designed from the start as a sustainable structure, with 40% higher insulation values than required by code, radiant concrete slab heating, efficient natural ventilation, large amounts of natural lighting, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, and locally sourced materials. Windows have high-performance LowE insulated glazing and are equipped with concealed shades. A radiant hydronic heat system with exposed concrete floors allows lower operating temperatures and higher occupant comfort levels. The concrete slabs conserve heat and provide great warmth and comfort for the feet.

Deep roof overhangs, built-in shades and high operating clerestory windows are used to reduce heat gain in summer months. During the winter, the lower sun angle is able to penetrate into living spaces and passively warm the exposed concrete floor. Low VOC paints and stains have been used throughout the house. The high level of craft evident in the house reflects another key principle of sustainable design: build it well and make it last for many years!

FINNE Architects uploaded Mazama House through Add A Home.
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Modern home with Exterior, Shed RoofLine, House, Wood Siding Material, Metal Roof Material, and Cabin Building Type. Exterior view showing warped roof plane over living space Photo  of Mazama HouseView Photos

Exterior view showing warped roof plane over living space

Modern home with Exterior, Metal Roof Material, Shed RoofLine, House, Wood Siding Material, and Cabin Building Type. Exterior view showing meadow in front of the house and Goat Wall behind the house Photo 2 of Mazama HouseView Photos

Exterior view showing meadow in front of the house and Goat Wall behind the house

Modern home with Exterior, Shed RoofLine, House, Wood Siding Material, and Metal Roof Material. Exterior view on east side Photo 3 of Mazama HouseView Photos

Exterior view on east side

Modern home with Exterior, Wood Siding Material, Metal Roof Material, Shed RoofLine, and House. Exterior Detail Photo 4 of Mazama HouseView Photos

Exterior Detail

Modern home with Exterior, Wood Siding Material, House, Metal Roof Material, Shed RoofLine, and Cabin Building Type. Exterior Detail Photo 5 of Mazama HouseView Photos

Exterior Detail

Modern home with Living Room, Standard Layout Fireplace, Ceiling Lighting, Sofa, Coffee Tables, Chair, Concrete Floor, End Tables, and Wood Burning Fireplace. Main living space with Montana ledgestone fireplace Photo 6 of Mazama HouseView Photos

Main living space with Montana ledgestone fireplace

Modern home with Living Room, Standard Layout Fireplace, Coffee Tables, Chair, End Tables, Sofa, Ceiling Lighting, and Concrete Floor. Living space with custom soft leather coffee table Photo 7 of Mazama HouseView Photos

Living space with custom soft leather coffee table

Modern home with Dining Room, Standard Layout Fireplace, Table, Concrete Floor, Chair, and Ceiling Lighting. Distinctive steel "V" columns support the exposed wood beams Photo 8 of Mazama HouseView Photos

Distinctive steel "V" columns support the exposed wood beams

Modern home with Dining Room, Chair, Table, Ceiling Lighting, Standard Layout Fireplace, and Concrete Floor. Dining space with custom walnut and aluminum table Photo 9 of Mazama HouseView Photos

Dining space with custom walnut and aluminum table

Modern home with Kitchen, Glass Tile Backsplashe, Refrigerator, Cooktops, Wood Cabinet, Wall Oven, Concrete Floor, Engineered Quartz Counter, Ceiling Lighting, and Undermount Sink. Curved cast glass counter at kitchen with custom stools Photo 10 of Mazama HouseView Photos

Curved cast glass counter at kitchen with custom stools

Modern home with Kitchen, Concrete Floor, Wood Cabinet, Wall Oven, Refrigerator, Undermount Sink, Glass Tile Backsplashe, Dishwasher, Cooktops, Ceiling Lighting, and Engineered Quartz Counter. Detail of curved cast glass kitchen counter Photo 11 of Mazama HouseView Photos

Detail of curved cast glass kitchen counter

Modern home with Staircase, Wood Tread, and Metal Railing. Main Stair with curvilinear cherry wood screen wall Photo 12 of Mazama HouseView Photos

Main Stair with curvilinear cherry wood screen wall

Modern home with Staircase, Wood Tread, and Metal Railing. Wood and steel stair with custom waterjet-cut steel railing panels Photo 13 of Mazama HouseView Photos

Wood and steel stair with custom waterjet-cut steel railing panels

Modern home with Bedroom, Night Stands, Ceiling Lighting, Carpet Floor, and Bed. Master Bedroom with view of meadow and mountains Photo 14 of Mazama HouseView Photos

Master Bedroom with view of meadow and mountains

Modern home with Dining Room, Standard Layout Fireplace, Ceiling Lighting, Chair, Pendant Lighting, Concrete Floor, and Table. Aluminum light fixture detail Photo 15 of Mazama HouseView Photos

Aluminum light fixture detail

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