Approached through a forested plateau of Ponderosa pine, this residence for a young family is a delicate stripe across the horizon. Extending along the edge of a lava escarpment, the slender building faces an expansive tableau of the Cascade Mountains.
The owners imagined a modest home that would encompass the dual nature of the setting’s intimate forest and sweeping views, and the architects saw the use of economical, prefabricated materials as an opportunity to develop an expressive architecture.
A bridge clad in green fiber cement panels leads to the entry between the garage and living spaces. The front door opens to a verdant view framed by a yellow wall that introduces the initial vista of mountain peaks. To the right, and parallel to the view, are the living spaces and bedrooms edged by a walkway leading to a private deck that extends into the landscape.
The house is organized on a four-foot module, which establishes a delicate rigor while maximizing the use of premanufactured materials. A series of open-web trusses are combined with dimensional wood framing to form broad overhangs and space for insulation. Plywood is attached to the trusses and becomes a finished ceiling, and an aluminum window system is attached to laminated wood columns to create a wall of glass oriented toward the views.
The exterior is clad in prefinished fiber cement panels that match the horizontal spacing of the window mullions, accentuating the linear nature of the structure. Two boxes clad in corrugated metal—one a children’s study area and the other a storage space—punctuate the east elevation.
The simplicity of the program, the clarity of the siting and the design, and the elementary materials and means of construction come together to make a home that is both dramatic and at ease.