Squalicum Mountain Residence
- Location: Bellingham, WA
- Size: 4,900SF
Designed for wine enthusiasts, this 4,900 SF custom home on 20 acres is located on a north facing slope near Bellingham, WA.
Working with the contours led to a linear floor plan with the goal of orienting all of the living spaces toward the dramatic view of the Canadian Cascades to the north while also allowing ample southern light deep into the main floor level through the use of clerestory windows.
The entry sequence unfolds as one enters the site through a gap in a concrete and Cove-10 steel plate wall around the circular driveway to the transparent front entry where glimpses of the mountains beyond reveal the open interior of the main living/entertaining space.
The sloping site also led to a 2-story solution with an on-grade lower level where the more private family spaces are located.
The use of exaggerated cantilevered roofs provides weather protection at the main entry on the south and an outdoor living space facing the views on the north. Stacking glass doors between the main living area and the outdoor covered area allows for a seamless flow to the exterior.
The owners expressed a strong design aesthetic which dictated the extensive use of exposed concrete for both the interior and exterior finishes. The solution was to use a 12” Thermomass wall system which has rigid insulation embedded in the center of the wall. Other prominent materials include Core-10 steel, exposed structural steel, ample glazing and wood. Although it is a simple, clean aesthetic it required extensive detailing with no room for error, a task which was superbly executed by the contractor.
The owners and the design team were very committed to sustainable design. Features include solar panels on the roof with battery storage units, a geo-thermal system with heat pump, passive solar with thermal mass walls where solar exposure allows and a rain water catchment system with storage and filtration.
Like the delineation between the more public, entertaining areas and the private family zones, careful consideration was given to the juxtaposition of the angular, sharp lines of the house and the surrounding hardscape and the transition to a more low compact development of the surrounding natural environment.