The invention of reinforced concrete in the 20th century had transformed the way architects and engineers thought and conceived projects. The classical brick wall was replaced by glass, steel and its structural role was taken by pillars, making so from the enclosure of the house just a shell with no structural importance. And with all of these came such a liberation from all of the problems and limitations the previous constructive systems imposed. Just remember Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth and you will understand what we are stating.
And so we come across another example of architecture that enforces the statement “Less is more”.
The Woodway Residence is a modern 20th century home which managed to combine all of the assets the modern era had brought, while keeping a strong connection with the natural environment. Clean, minimal lines, glass walls and open fluid space are the main characteristics of this home which was updated and brought to a contemporary state by architect Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Set into a beautiful natural environment, the house communicates with the exterior space making living in it an unique experience.This Derivative of Philip Johnson’s “Glass House” in New Canaan, Conn., (1949), and the “Barcelona House” by Mies van der Rohe at the Barcelona Exposition (1929-1930) is an interesting combination of raw, harsh materials such as steel and concrete with the warmth of natural stone and wood.
The Woodway Residence offers its inhabitants amazing views with unbroken horizontal planes, creating so a piece of art, ever changing and a serene atmosphere.
“With minimal changes to the footprint, this previously dark, disorganized 1950s suburban home was redesigned to blur the boundary between indoor living and the landscape beyond. A composition of enlongated colored boxes and planar elements organizes and enlivens the house. Circulation and living spaces occupy the resulting zones between.
2009 Merit Award for Design
AIA Northwest and Pacific Region
2009 Grand Award, Renovation Category
2008 Honor Award
2008 Merit Award
AIA Sunset Western Home Award
Even though from an ecological, self efficient point of view this residence with its huge glass walls can be considered a hazard, we must judge and admire it from its construction time’s perspective and understand what a remarkable impact it must have created at that point in architecture. And you can’t deny its beauty and simplicity as well.
Photos by architectural photographer Nic Lehoux