Architecture People & Places


Finne Architects • Mid-Century Modern Reno in Lake Forest Park, Washington

Finne Architects has designed a major renovation of a mid-century northwest modern home located outside of Seattle, Washington. Photo: Benjamin Benschneider
Located on a secluded, wooded site about 25 miles north of Seattle, Washington, a 1950's northwest Modernist house has been completely and sensitively renovated by Finne Architects. With extensive new windows and light monitors, the renovated house opens out to the surrounding forest.

During the renovation, the plan was reorganized to create a larger master bedroom and bathroom, with each space afforded views of the forest. The main living and dining spaces have also been slightly enlarged, and a new roof monitor was added to bring daylight to the entire space.

The combined kitchen/dining space is at the heart of the home's layout. Photo: Benjamin Benschneider 
An existing hemlock ceiling with exposed fir beams has been retained in roughly half the house and new fir ceilings were added to the remainder of the house. Similarly, existing terrazzo flooring was refinished and new areas of terrazzo were added in a complementary color.

A light monitor adds daylight from above. Photo: Benjamin Benschneider
Consistent with the original material simplicity of the house, a palette of new materials has been added to create juxtapositions of texture and color. The expanded kitchen has counters made of quartz and cast glass, with continuous windows extending up from counter level. Casework consists primarily of cherry panels: some panels are smooth while others have been CNC milled to make a texture evocative of a woven surface. 

A 30-foot long accent wall adjacent to the common dining and kitchen area has been clad entirely in weathered steel panels. Suspended casework on this wall is made from either resin panels with natural grasses or textured cherry wood, both materials set against the variegated colors of the steel.
Looking back into the main living area from a glazed corner of the home. Photo: Benjamin Benschneider 
Custom fabrications included the cast-glass kitchen counter, steel wall panels, suspended steel mirror frames, laser-cut steel shade valences, custom steel lighting bars, hand-blown glass light fixtures (TROMS pendants), and a number of custom furniture pieces. The glass wall between the master bedroom and master bathroom features a hand-drawn pattern in etched glass.

Radiant heating is present under the terrazzo flooring. Motorized operators on the clerestory windows allow for cooling via stack ventilation.

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