Lake Forest Park Renovation by FINNE Architects

The Lake Forest Park Renovation included a complete re-working of a '50s northwest contemporary house on a large, wooded site north of Seattle. The floor plan was altered to create an enlarged kitchen, master bedroom, master bath, and study. While the existing exposed wood ceiling was retained, large glass light monitors were added to bring a soft wash of natural light to the interior. Materials such as steel, cherry, natural grass resin panels, terrazzo, and Douglas Fir have been used in juxtaposition, allowing each material to benefit from adjacent contrasts in texture and color. Existing terrazzo floors were re-finished, and some new terrazzo flooring was added in complementary colors. Casework consisted primarily of cherry panels with a custom-textured CNC panel. A 30-foot accent wall adjacent to the dining and kitchen was clad entirely with weathered steel panels. Custom fabrications included a cast-glass kitchen counter, suspended steel mirror frames, steel lighting bars, glass light fixtures, and a number of custom furniture pieces. Sustainable design practices were integral to the project from the start. Radiant heating under terrazzo flooring has created an even heat source with maximum energy efficiency. High clerestory windows bring natural light deep into the house and motorized operators allow for venting during summer months. Many green materials (such as resin panels, quartz counters, linoleum, low VOC paint, and sustainable wood products) were used in the project. But above all, it is the fact of renovation itself that is inherently sustainable and captures all the embodied energy of the original 1950s house, which has now been given a fresh life. The intense craftsmanship and detailing of the renovation point to a very important sustainable principle: build it well and it will last for many years!

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Nils Finne

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