Forest Retreat in Seattle Built Around Gravel Courtyard

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Robert Hutchison Architecture completed the Courtyard House on the River design, a contemporary forest retreat located just outside Seattle, WA in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. The 1,900 square-foot (176 square-meter) home is clad in Western red cedar and painted black to blend with the surrounding forest on the banks of the White River.

“By working diligently with our client, the building footprint was kept as compact as possible to minimize site disturbance,” the architects said. “The residence values design over size.”

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The client’s brief requested a zen-like retreat, away from the city noise. Expansive forest views through glass frames bring a sense of peacefulness inside. Wooden floors and furniture add to the home’s natural feel.

“The interior focuses on the home’s double-height space, a comforting exposed structure for warmth and connection to nature, and the dark steel used for the fireplace anchors the space with a central focal point,” Hutchison said.

Moreover, the steel fireplace separates the living room from a covered outdoor patio. The entire house is set around a gravel courtyard, which protects the inhabitants from roaming elk. Photography courtesy of Robert Hutchison Architecture.

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