A closer look at Portage Bay Float Home, one of five finalists in the 2021 GRAY Awards Residential Architecture category.
Portage Bay Float Home
Continuing Seattle's long tradition of floating homes and houseboats, this compact residence, situated along the north end of Lake Union, meets the needs of a small family of three who wished to create a new home on an original log float foundation from the early 1900s. Studio DIAA's design embodies a holistic approach to maximizing efficiency: the home’s compact layout provides ample space for the young family, embodying a mentality of doing more with less. Two bedrooms shift the majority of the home’s area to the common areas, and the window and skylight system creates connection to the outdoors while taking up minimal space inside. A five-foot-wide cedar deck wraps around the home, while large floor-to-ceiling window doors allow the compact footprint to feel more generous.
A key design concern was to establish a connection with the natural and built context, while also creating a highly efficient building envelope for energy efficiency and human comfort. The building skin is clad in an open rainscreen with blackened-stained cedar siding that helps the home recede into its surroundings. The exterior cedar deck will silver over time, helping to amplify the contrast between the dark exterior and the soft, light interior. The home’s motorized skylights along with the sliding door panels allow for cross-ventilation in Seattle’s temperate climate.
General Contractor: Dovetail
Exterior and Interior Finish Coordination: Forrest Taylor and Geoff Gamsby
Structural Engineer: BUILT Engineering
Casework: Oxbow Fabrication
Metalwork: Matt Kelly
Photography: Kevin Scott
Date of Completion: August 2020
Additional Architecture, Residential finalists:
Hill Country Wine Cave
Mar Vista Residence
Check out the Quick List to see all of the 2021 GRAY Awards finalists!
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