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Nature's Embrace

Embedded in the treescape, a contemporary home is built against a backdrop of living art.

A vision of harmony between architecture and nature, this recently constructed contemporary home is as striking as it is serene. The home, designed by Charles Rose Architects and built by Sea-Dar Construction, honors the site’s inherent beauty by maximizing its connection with the landscape.

“The clients wanted to create something that was very site-specific,” says Charles Rose, Principal at Charles Rose Architects. The homeowners, who also owned the previous home on the property—an aging structure that was disconnected from its natural surroundings—were keen to start anew.

“The intent with this project was to create a new space for the next generation of their family to enjoy,” explains Amanda Gross, Project Manager at Sea-Dar Construction. The project included a full tear-down of the existing structure, a poignant symbol of passing the torch.

“One of the goals was to create a more dynamic relationship between the interior spaces and the exterior,” notes Rose. Designed with durability and minimal maintenance in mind, it features an Alaskan yellow cedar exterior. The choice of plank siding over traditional cedar shingles infuses a contemporary flair to the coastal property. 

Inside, a sweep of vast windows immerses occupants into the billowing canopy of trees on the south side of the property. The layout of the home—an intentional inversion of the norm—places the primary family living spaces on the top floor, where the tree canopy can be fully experienced.

An open concept kitchen, living, and dining space, and one of two primary suites complete the upper level, where sculptural architecture conveys a treehouse motif. Stacked atop each other, the two primary suites both offer unobstructed forest views. 

An oak veneer carries throughout the interiors, with a blend of clean lines and classic finishes accentuated by custom millwork crafted by Triple Crown Cabinet & Millwork. With much of the additional interior and exterior labor done in-house, Sea-Dar’s diligent team balanced high-quality craftsmanship with budget and code considerations.

This floorplan was also a strategic move to optimize energy efficiency. In summer, the foliage shades the house, reducing glare and solar heat gain, while in winter, the bare branches allow ample sunlight. 

“The windows were one of the big parts of this project,” Gross remarks, noting the windows were largely sourced from Sierra Pacific and Loewen. “We put a lot of time into making sure we got those right.” 

Crafted with precision by Sea-Dar’s in-house team, every element of the deck—from the spacing of the posts to the dimensions of the wooden slats—was carefully curated to create the final result. From the main deck, a staircase—with metal work installed by Paradis MetalWorks—leads to a rooftop deck, which offers a vantage point toward the ocean in the distance. Outdoor living areas are enhanced by surrounding landscaping courtesy of Hamilton Tree & Landscape.

An exterior staircase features metal work installed by Paradis MetalWorks. “The design of the support post along with the visual angles and dark color of the staircase make this a unique feature of the project,” says Rene Paradis, principal of Paradis MetalWorks. “It catches your attention right away.”

To best make use of the site, the exterior entry sequence was carefully designed. A central open-air passageway guides visitors to enter the home on the forested southern side of the house, avoiding a neighboring parking lot on the northern edge. 

“There is a sense that this home will eventually recede into the landscape,” says Rose. “It is a very muted, stoic, quiet building.” Thoughtfully designed to create an intimate, ethereal connection with the immediate landscape, the home transcends the ordinary to allow nature’s embrace to be felt at every turn. 

(Architect: Charles Rose Architects, Builder: Sea-Dar Construction, Millwork: Triple Crown Cabinet & Millwork, Landscape: Hamilton Tree & Landscape, Windows: Loewen, Sierra Pacific, Photography: Chuck Choi)


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