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Net-zero cabin provides an urban refuge that communes with nature

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This net-zero cabin was designed by Olson Kundig Architects in collaboration with Dovetail General Contractors, located in Seattle, Washington. This dwelling provides the owner’s desire for a private urban retreat that would connect her to nature. A staggered footprint on the lot allows for dense landscaping, and extensive glazing throughout the house increases solar gains and maximizes garden views.

With the goal of net-zero energy use, the home’s design incorporates key sustainability features, and the incorporation of thick greenery onto the site transforms an ordinary urban infill lot into a private refuge.

DESIGN DETAILS: ARCHITECT Olson Kundig CONTRACTOR Dovetail General Contractors

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The 2,400-square-foot home is organized around a central gathering space with two wings extending from it: one with the master suite and the other containing the guest room and storage areas. The heart of the home in plan as well as function, the central area, which consists of an open kitchen and living space, is a single volume defined by a 16-foot-high ceiling and full-height window walls.

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The interior palette draws inspiration from the owner’s extensive Native American art collection with custom tinted red concrete floors and natural, unstained plywood walls and ceilings. Reclaimed fir siding and galvanized steel roofing continue the emphasis on sustainability and economy.

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The dwelling incorporates several green strategies such as a photovoltaic array, an air-to-water heat pump, a green roof, triple-glazed windows, low-energy appliances, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Passive solar strategies were also applied to optimize natural ventilation and light. This residence is a wild oasis within the city.

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What We Love: This net-zero cabin offers its inhabitants a warm and inviting oasis in an urban environment. Large expanses of glass help to connect the interiors with nature while flooding spaces with natural light. We are loving the walls of bookshelves in the living room with the rolling ladder, an idyllic home for booklovers! Overall, the project team did a fantastic job of creating a home that provides a relaxing atmosphere for city living.

Tell Us: What do you think of the overall design details of this home? What would you change in the design if this were your home? Let us know in the Comments!

Note: Have a look at another fabulous home tour that we have featured from the portfolio of the architect of this project, Olson Kudig Architects: Modern net zero home in California is blissfully integrated with nature.

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Triple-glazed windows by Unilux and reclaimed fir cladding on interior walls.

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Custom fir and steel bookshelves.

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Custom kitchen with fir and steel shelving. Island countertop of reclaimed Douglas fir slab that’s 2,800 years old.

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View of living room with custom book shelves and steel ladder.

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Hallway that leads to writing nook, with fir plywood walls.

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Main bedroom with fir plywood walls and custom bookshelf.

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Entry foyer with view of entry courtyard and landscaping.

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Back exterior facade featuring full glass walls.

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PHOTOGRAPHER Aaron Leitz

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Larry
3 years ago

A bit much with the art collection, seems like a museum other than tan that the building is a very fine piece of archecture.