The Moore House


The Moore House, designed for a young family of three, is built on a hillside corner lot that was split from a family parcel. The 1,778 square feet urban home is bordered by a steep street on the driveway side and a busy collector street on the other.

The "C" shaped plan enhances privacy from the street while making the landscape accessible at the site's interior. Abundant clerestory windows give view to the tree tops while vaulted ceilings offer a spacious impression within the compact home. The entry and living room volume steps down with the grade while a hand-crafted wood screen and steps give definition within the open plan. The long axis is perpendicular to the entry reducing the apparent scale of the home. The interior seems much more spacious than expected.

The minimal interior and clean lines of the exterior fit the owners lifestyle and love of mid-century architecture and furnishings. She is a teacher and artist, he an aerospace fabricator and welder. Those skills are evident in the home in both its displayed artwork and precise fabrication of the designed exterior metal components.

The sequence of spaces moves you quickly from the street into the dense foliage of the site. Once inside, the calming material pallet is streamlined with exposed concrete floors, laminated pine beams and all white kitchen cabinets. The private spaces are crafted with finely detailed birch (Kerf) millwork. Colorful laminate cabinets add texture and warmth to the bath vanities while naturally finished bookshelf units allow for personalization with flexible shelf system.

A cedar rain screen at the entry and a large central porch compliment the metal siding at areas of reflection. At the center of the "C" plan, the exterior covered porch frames the landscape and sky, pulling views to the outside from the dining area and central hallway. This element reflects the project goal to have a home that enjoys a balance of inside and outside.

Project Statement

Project Statement

PROGRAM BACKGROUND AND DESIGN INFLUENCES
The Moore House was designed for a young family on land in the heart of the city, split from a family parcel. The location is near walk-able historic neighborhoods but with challenges that included steep site, small lot, existing surface water channel and tight budget. The collaboration between like minded architects and clients focused on objectives to design a home with good balance both inside and out, with minimal well-composed and functional spaces.

The home is 1,778 square feet with 581 SF carport and 261 SF covered deck. The deck is under the main shed roof. The carport contains a storage or workshop space with double doors to open onto the carport for hobby space when the cars are parked on the street.

SITE
Bordered by a steep street on the driveway side, the urban infill nature of the location positioned it at the base of a hill and with the long side on a busy collector street. The other two sides have similarly scaled, modest homes from the mid century, including one occupied by a parent. The home was sited so that mature trees would remain, allowing dense foliage to be maintained along the busy street edge to filter traffic and western light and offer privacy. The wet swale was left intact and measures were taken to keep the soil stabilized during construction. Exterior stairs offer deep generous treads to gradually lift guests into the home and provide opportunities for seating. At the private side yard, future construction is planned for cascading step platforms and garden planters off the deck as part of the overall design.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGY, KEY ELEMENTS
The "C" shaped plan offers visual privacy from the street and neighbors while making the landscape accessible to the family at the site's interior.

Abundant upper day lighting windows give view to the tree tops while vaulted ceilings offer a spacious impression within the compact home. The clerestory continues into the open air carport.

The main shed roof covers the primary volume and a smaller shed roof at the lower entry volume keeps the forms simple and budget friendly. To maintain scale with the larger form, the smaller volume's siding slides over the masonry foundation wall, parallel to the grade, for the unifying visual impact of one material. Inside, the entry and living room are separated by 'floating' cantilevered maple steps and a hand-crafted wood screen that produce distinctive, yet open, definition within the open plan.

The sight lines focus on the exterior porch at the mid-point of the "C" plan. The tall porch ceiling, layering of material textures and connection to the landscape offer a place of respite both physically and visually.

Circulation between the lively public spaces and private quarters is served with a tall vaulted central hallway with a continuous window band facing the naturalized landscape. The hallway terminus is punctuated with a tall window that visually extends the space.

Given the small footprint and vaulted ceilings, the hvac strategy was integral to the concept. Return air ducts are under the slab, and a discreet furr-down runs from the utility room to the owner bedroom suite, tucked within the smaller bedrooms. High ceilings are maintained at the central circulation spine, public area, and bedrooms.

MATERIALS AND SEQUENCE OF SPACES
Minimal, clean lines define both the interior and exterior. The home fits the owners' lifestyle and compliments their love of mid-century architecture and furnishings. She is a teacher and artist, he is an aerospace fabricator and welder. Those skills are evident in the displayed artwork and fabrication of the designed exterior metal components. A niche was created off of the dining area for family art making space.

The arrival sequence from the street moves you quickly into the dense foliage of the site and up and along the cedar carport slat wall and entry steps. Once inside, the calming material pallet is streamlined with continuous exposed concrete floors, laminated pine beams and all white kitchen cabinets. The private spaces are crafted with finely detailed birch plywood (Kerf) millwork. Colorful laminate cabinets add texture and warmth to the bath vanities while naturally finished bookshelf units have a flexible shelf system. Bath wet walls are richly textured with floor to ceiling white penny round tile.

A cedar rain screen at the entry and a large central porch compliment the black metal siding at areas of reflection. The exterior covered porch frames the landscape and sky, pulling views to the outside from the dining area and central hallway. This element reflects the project goal to have a home that enjoys a balance of inside and outside.

SUMMARY
The Moore home achieves order between the light-filled, vaulted interior, bold lines of the exterior metal cladding and the densely planted site. Selection of a dark exterior cladding aids in blending the home into its hillside locale and the white interior offers a feeling of generous flowing space. The efficient floor plan fits the family's lifestyle and the restrained material palette adds to its sense of spaciousness. Best of all, the family tell us that the home is a great joy to live within.

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