Project: Woodway Residence
Architects: Olso Kundig
Design Principal: Kevin Kudo-King
Architectural Staff: Michael Wright
Project Manager: Jesse Kingsley
Interior Design Suport: Amanda Chenoweth, Laina Navarro
Location: Woodway, Washington
Text by Olso Kundig
Home to an active family of five, Woodway Residence inhabits a series of planes that float above a restored meadow. Blurred boundaries throughout the home’s glass pavilions allow activity to flow easily between inside and out, fostering and celebrating connections to the surrounding environment. The home’s quiet architectural character respectfully defers to this natural context and allows Woodway Residence to sit lightly on this special site.
Woodway Residence’s quiet neighborhood-facing side directs the energy of the home toward the landscape. A circular driveway provides ample parking, while an attached garage preserves space for the family to collaborate on projects and work on their unconventional car collection. The tactile Cor-ten steel entry door opens to reveal framed views through the house to the garden beyond, establishing the home as a perch for experiencing the landscape. This central entry sequence opens onto a long circulation spine that links the main gathering pavilion at the north and the more intimate southern bar.
The main pavilion, anchored by a steel-framed hearth, functions as the heart of Woodway Residence. Here an open kitchen, dining and living room welcomes large and small gatherings and a built-in pizza oven highlights the family’s love of food and entertaining. Extensive glazing frames views to the surrounding meadow, forest and wetlands, while full perimeter clerestory windows further harvest daylight, a precious resource in the Pacific Northwest. Hidden behind panel doors, the main bedroom suite can recede from the activity of the central gathering space while enjoying additional views and access to the site, an oasis within the landscape. Sliding glass doors seamlessly extend the pavilion to a series of decks, terraces, gardens and pathways. Generous roof overhangs allow continuous use of these outdoor living spaces even during the rainy season.
Meandering through old growth Douglas firs and cedars, Woodway Residence’s south wing steps down from the main pavilion to follow the site’s gentle slope. West-facing slot windows throughout the central connecting spine capture the site’s dynamic quality of light and display shifting patterns of sun and shadow. The southern pavilion features additional bedrooms opening onto a central den and gathering space, underscoring the importance of family connections. Framed views and direct access to a landscaped patio further the emphasis on indoor/outdoor living established in the main pavilion.
“Targeted design choices throughout Woodway Residence allowed us to create something incredibly special on a fairly modest budget. We prioritized items like the glazing and large roof overhangs to create an environment that reflects the way the family lives on the site. Otherwise the home is elegant in its simplicity; no detail is overwrought.”
KEVIN M. KUDO-KING, AIA, LEED AP