North Lake Wenatchee House by DeForest Architects

North Lake Wenatchee House by DeForest Architects

Architects: DeForest Architects
Project Team: John DeForest, Rosie Donovan, Brett Smith
Contractor: M&M Quality Construction
Structural: Evergreen Design
Interior Design: Theresa Benny
Landscape Architect: Richard Pulkrabek
Photography: Ben Benschneider
Location: Lake Wenatchee, Washington State, USA

When given the North Lake Wenatchee House project, DeForest Architects started by collecting images on a storyboard to define core values. For the clients (Lauren and Judy), DeForest Architects honed on three main goals:

  • that the house should be “revealing”, i.e. that it would unfold in time and space rather than giving away all of its secrets at once
  • that it should feel “of the place”, a modern design at home with surroundings, and
  • that it should offer “natural ease”, a comfortable, low maintenance getaway that helps them focus on enjoying family and the surrounding environment

Observations led DeForest Architects to view the site as a series of landscape layers and the house as a collection of simple volumes emerging from them – almost like geologic rock formations.

With Lauren and Judy’s input, the architects developed an initial sketch of the lower level plan; and another study model that distilled the house into two simple bars. The upper one contains the bedrooms; the lower one is a glass pavilion with living, dining, and sleeping porch.

Returning to an idea Lauren has about the house as a series of “stops along a trail”, this cross-section shows how the house steps down with the land, opening up surprising views as one moves through the house.

The interior palette builds on the site’s existing colors and textures. The emphasis is on warm, natural materials and uncluttered spaces that are easy to maintain.

Niches in the living room and sleeping porch provide a cozy spot to read and overflow sleeping space. To the right is a bookcase that conceals an entrance to the media room.

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