2018 Builder’s Choice & Custom Home Design Awards

Two wood-slatted volumes—one two stories tall and the other three—organize the living spaces of the Genesee Park Net Zero house in Seattle. Occupying an infill lot overlooking a public park, its large, cross-braced form encompasses outdoor decks on the second and third floors that shelter the ground floor entrance while providing a ©bold defining feature for the home’s front façade.

The 3,700-square-foot home facilitates al fresco living, with discrete outdoor spaces on each floor. Dwell Development principal Anthony Maschmedt calls the design “custom spec” as it was initially designed as a spec home, but sold before breaking ground. Reclaimed, local, and recycled materials are among the home’s sustainable features and the building meets criteria for 5-Star Built Green, Energy Star, and Indoor airPLUS. “

We exclusively build green, high-performance homes and we are always seeking the latest innovative technologies for our projects,” Maschmedt says. The home’s net-zero energy aspirations are met through a variety of green building techniques and systems, including a 9.0 kW rooftop solar array, airtight building envelope, high-performance windows, 12-inch-thick walls packed with insulation, high-efficiency heating, and solar thermal hot water. Inside, a double-height entry hall leads to an open living, dining, and kitchen space that runs from front to back along the house’s south side. A central stair connects the three levels of the home, with a unique rock garden situated beneath it on the ground floor.

“We wanted to introduce some natural materials outside of wood and concrete,” Maschmedt says. “We thought the rocks created a nice contrast.” Stepping stones through the rock garden provide access to a flex space—which can be opened and closed to the main living areas via large sliding doors made of reclaimed barn wood.

The second floor features four bedrooms, including one without a private bath that can be used as what the designers call a bonus room—a multipurpose space that can be an office, guest suite, or media room.

“Rooms are meant to be flexible so they can adapt to changing needs and lifestyles over time,” Maschmedt says. An entertainment room, deck, and another bedroom occupy the north half of the house on the third floor, with the south portion roof topped with a photovoltaic array. The exterior, composed of contrasting horizontal white oak siding and fiber cement boards, is punctuated by exposed metal and concrete details. These materials provide a bold, contemporary feel to the home that’s consistent with the front façade’s cross bracing.

“The brace was structurally necessary to achieve the rectangular shape,” Maschmedt says. “We left it exposed because it created an architectural aesthetic and allowed the decks to wrap around the front of the house.”—E.K.

“It’s interesting and achieves its energy-neutral aspirations. The thick walls are terrific.” — Juror Peter Rose

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