Meg House is a modern residence located on a steep slope in the dense, urban neighborhood of Queen Anne. Designed by Olson Kundig, it features a dramatically cantilevered third floor master bedroom that maximizes a view of Elliot Bay, and a show-stopping hand-crank ‘guillotine’ wall gizmo to operate massive high performance windows. The unique sloping roof sets into the landscape making this large house appear modest tucked in between its traditional neighbors lining the old and prominent street.
On this project, we exercised our logistical planning chops to get large materials and equipment on a tight and sloping site with minimal impact to the neighbors and landscape. This involved communicating and coordinating shared access of an alley and driveway along with precision driving and expert movement of large pieces. At one point, we backed a 60-foot truck inch by inch into the tight alley to deliver forty-foot steel pieces. We craned the roof structure, steel and windows from the rear low slope of the house up a block to the front while still protecting two maple trees that were integral to the beautiful landscape design.
The double-curve geometry roof structure custom fabricated by Spearhead in Canada, the high-performance windows fabricated by Brombal in Italy, and the complex steel framing all had to come together into a sophisticated and complex shape. While a lot of this could be technically designed and planned before it was manufactured, it was up to our carpenters to cut, size and install the pieces through traditional means of carpentry and craft. The results of the team’s thoughtfulness and care can be seen in this expertly crafted house as well as the great neighbor relationships that were maintained throughout the process.
This home seems to capture and hold the cool light of the Pacific Northwest. The vegetation plays a significant role in the material palette, and the understated concrete and wood slide past each other creating a setting that appears quiet without being austere.
- Juror, 2020 AIA Honolulu Design Awards