Tiger Mountain House

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A ten acre heavily wooded site in the shadow of Tiger Mountain in Unincorporated King County near Issaquah, Washington was the site of choice for a young professional couple who had been searching for a number of years to find the "right property" for the construction of their "dream home". The site at the end of a long private road is characterized by a gently rolling slope from north to south and is overgrown with second growth fir and cedar trees. Numerous fallen trees and protruding or uprooted stumps along with heavy underbrush rendered the site nearly inaccessible. Two designated wetlands near the middle of the site and a seasonal creek just off the southeast corner of the property are among the Sites notable features.

After numerous trips to the Property with the Owner it was determined that the most appropriate area for the Structure to be located was the Southeast corner of the Site. This area had a uniform yet gentle slope, avoided the Wetlands, required minor extension of the existing road and was within earshot of the rushing creek. The fallen trees were used as a design metaphor for three distinct wings or "trunks" of the house and the mountain peaks both near and far dictated the axial alignments of these wings. The Main Living "trunk" which includes the Garage, Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen and Master Bedroom is aligned on an axis tending North to South with Mount Rainer. Two additional "trunks" lay cross purpose to the Main Wing and are aligned with West Tiger and South Tiger Mountain Peaks. The West Tiger alignment includes a Guest Suite, the Husband's Home Office, Exercise Room and Indoor Lap Pool. The South Tiger alignment provides for Children's Bedrooms, Family Room and the Wife's Home Office. Some architectural elements like the Entry, Powder Room and Master Bath project from the main "trunks" of the Residence as if they were the remains or stumps of branches of a fallen tree.

A series of Terraces both large and small are inscribed within a circular radius that demarks the transition between man-made space and the natural environment. These Terraces are placed strategically around the structure giving many Rooms within the House a public or private outdoor realm as requested by the Owner. The large South facing Terrace off the Main Living area is splayed out between the other two wings of the structure and includes a covered and skylit Loggia with built-in BBQ and pass thru to the Kitchen and an in-ground Fire Pit and Spa. A water feature with a runnel courses from the Spa to a catchment that extends into the Landscape.

The Structure is clad with a combination of Metal Rhein-Zinc, Rusty Metal and Cedar. In many instances Roof planes morph into Wall planes with a homogenous skin much like the bark on a tree. In some places this "bark" has been peeled away to reveal the trunks inner structure similar to a tree that has fallen in the forest and has lost its bark over time. These areas are where windows and doors occur or a change in material takes place.

Design was completed in 2007.

All contents © 2012 George Daniel Wittman / architects, pllc