A facade made of steel and glass characterizes this floating house on the ledge
Every day we are fascinated by numerous architectural projects from all over the world with their original design and innovative choice of materials. Today we would like to present one of these interesting projects. It is a house with modern architecture in Washington, USA, which impresses not only with its unusual design language, but also with an environmentally friendly concept. The steel and glass facade has a toasted look and thus blends harmoniously into the natural landscape. The house was built “floating” over a corridor, which is a natural, predetermined path for wild animals. The architects kept this so as not to intrude into the existing nature.
The architects from Olson Kundig named the project Rimrock, which indicates the typography of the property. “Rimrock” is a geological process in which a steep rock wall is created on the upper edge of a plateau or a canyon. The house was built on the ledge and thus offers wonderful views of its surroundings.
The floating design of Rimrock is not only due to the existing deer pass, but also to the climatic conditions in the region. The area is characterized by changing wind patterns, which can cause massive snowdrifts, especially in winter. Since the house was built above ground level, it is protected from heavy snowfall. Thanks to its floating position, the glazed facade also offers breathtaking views of the valley, the mountains, the forest, the river and the city of Spokane from the lower floor. The interior remains open, but protected from external influences.
Robust, long-lasting building materials are used to withstand the harsh environmental conditions. The steel and glass facade has a charming rust look and will naturally weather over time. The steel cladding is 90-95% recycled material provided by the owner. All windows are equipped with flexibly adjustable external blinds, which significantly reduce the energy consumption for cooling. Erosion on the property is prevented by collecting all of the rainwater from the roof in a dry well at the entrance to the house. From this well the water slowly penetrates back into the groundwater system.
In addition to the fountain, there is another design element in the outdoor area – a water feature that adorns a large sculpture by Richard Serra. The front door of the house in bright red sets a playful accent and is a sign of the modernist design in the interior.
Modern homes with a lot of glazing are typically designed so that the majority of the glazing is concentrated on the upper floors. The Rimrock House is exactly the opposite – the facade of the ground floor is almost completely glazed, with the upper floor being designed a little more private. The lower level therefore houses the common rooms such as the kitchen, dining and living areas. From the outside, this part of the house looks like a spacious corridor above the animal path.
A small terrace serves as an optical extension of the ground floor. It is separated from the living room by a glass wall and thus looks like a part of it. There is still a little bit of luxury there – an infinity pool, which is rather unsuitable for those who suffer from a fear of heights. The pool is built directly on the ledge and offers a breathtaking view from above.
In addition to the striking design language and the interesting facade made of steel and glass, this project also fascinates with its interior design. Glass plays a decisive role not only in the facade design, but also in the interior. The smooth surfaces give the interior a modern touch and look particularly elegant. The glass dining table and coffee table harmonize perfectly with the glazing of the facade and are combined with minimalist seating in dark tones.
Glass is also used in the kitchen to create a small exhibition space for small sculptures and decorative objects. Otherwise, the kitchen is compact and framed by an L-shaped kitchen island. This also serves to visually separate the cooking area. Wood is used abundantly in this area of the open living space. Handleless kitchen cabinets and built-in appliances speak for a modern and high-quality design. The worktops are designed in a dark gray tone to set an accent. Five pendant lights in the same color illuminate the kitchen perfectly and also function as design elements in the interior design.
The upper part of the house is designed to be more private and less transparent than the lower level. This is where the private rooms such as bedrooms and bathrooms are located, where the residents want to keep the feeling of intimacy. That is why the architects opted for little glazing when designing these rooms. Nevertheless, the upper floor is also equipped with some beautiful viewing corners that overlook the beautiful natural landscape.
Check out the rest of the pictures in our gallery for a closer look at the house and its impressive steel and glass facade.
Info about the project
Architecture office: Olson Knowledgeable
Located in Spokane, Washington, United States
Total area: 484 m²
Project year: 2014
Photographers: Benjamin Benschneider, Kevin Scott / Olson Kundig