Imposing Charm

23 / 08 / 2018
For more information, visit Olson Kundig website.
This article is only available in English.  
We are in Spokane, Washington, at a tremendous home commissioned from the architect Tom Kundig from the Seattle-based Olson Kundig studio.

Seemingly afloat over the unique mountain typography of the bluff upon which it is situated, at the edge of a cliff, the residence straddles two side of wash a top a stable outcropping of tough, slow-cooled volcanic basalt. The T-shaped structure of Rimrock, named after this geological occurrence, also allows the maintenance of a preexisting path for animals bellow the house, who use it to move between the mountains and the river.

“Raising the 5,200 SF house above the wash serves many functions, including preservation of the existing animal path. Knowing that changing wind patterns in the winter can create massive snow drifts, hovering the house above the ground plane allows the use of full-height windows without piles of snow accumulating directly against them”, explained the studio. This way, the connection between interior and exterior is permanently ensured by the generous windows, offering uninterrupted views overlooking Riverside State Park and north Spokane.
 
The robust appearance of the home compromises neither its elegance nor comfort. The upper portion of the building, which includes bedrooms and offices, is the most private and less transparent in the building, and enhances a sense of intimacy throughout the home, “by allowing the owner to retreat from what is a spectacular, yet also aggressive environment”. The lower portion, the more public family and gathering area, has more transparency and contains a bridge element that spans across the game path.

Another highlight is the choice of mild steel and glass, used to stand up to harsh environmental conditions and will weather naturally. “The steel paneling and structure is 90-95% reclaimed material locally sourced by the owner.“