DenverJohn and Paige Damiano are snow worshippers. As the Colorado and New Mexico territory manager for Burton Snowboards, John depends on winter precipitation for his business, not to mention for family entertainment. While the pair waits all summer for the flakes to fall, they’ll be the first to tell you that their domestic comfort actually revolves around the sun. The Damianos’ house, located in Denver’s Highland neighborhood, runs completely on solar energy.
SeattleIn 1999, native Seattleite Denise Draper fell in love with the location of a prime end slip in a marina on Seattle’s Portage Bay. She was less enthusiastic, however, with the existing fixer-upper floating there. “I love being close to the water. There’s constant change, with boats and wildlife passing by,” Draper says, so she purchased the home. It took her ten years before she could renovate, but with the help of architect Ryan Mankoski of Ninebark Design Build, his wife, interior designer Kim Mankoski, and local builder Dyna Contracting, Draper ended up with a 1,000-square-foot place that’s tuned in to its surroundings and wears its strong sustainable ethos on its walls.
DenverCommercial building in Denver, Colorado, designed by Lake|Flato Architects. Winner of the 2011 American Institute of Architects Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture. Project description: "The adaptive re-use of a 1900s machine shop celebrates the spirit, craft and materiality of its original program. The transformed spaces are organized around a new landscaped courtyard created by stripping away the center section of the existing roof to bring in natural light and ventilation to the interior spaces. A gated entry court on the street front acts as a threshold to the courtyard framed by two brick volumes containing the building’s public spaces on one side and office spaces on the other."
Seattle On the sandy shores of Fauntleroy Cove in Seattle, renowned firm Olson Kundig Architects crafts a subtle home with striking steel accents. A second-story Dutch door above the canopy ushers in sunlight and breezes. “Light is really important in the Pacific Northwest because it’s dark for most of the year,” says the resident. The cedar-clad facade is pierced with thoughtfully placed windows, which frame views and “actively engage the idiosyncratic nature of the place,” says architect Tom Kundig.
DenverDaniel Libeskind's Denver Art Museum, whose titanium-clad exterior shimmers in the afternoon sun. Photo by Cameron Wittig.
SeattleDavid Sarti's little red house in Seattle's sleepy Central District proves that a bit of land, ambition, and carpentry know-how can go a long way. The rear facade. Photo by Misha Gravenor.
Remnants of the past mingle with more recent developments, exemplified by these modern structures sitting atop an old brick warehouse. Photo by Cameron Wittig.
A supposedly impossible site was the perfect plot for a couple who were searching for some sort of break that would afford them the chance to build their own home. Stilting the house over the steep hill gives them direct access to nature while still being located just a ten-minute drive from downtown Seattle. Photo by Philip Newton.
DenverLewis Sharp’s Usonian home is just around the corner from where his children and grandchildren live. Photo by Cameron Wittig.
SeattleBlessed with an enviable site on the sylvan shores of the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington state, architect Anthony Pellecchia and his wife, graphic designer Kathy Wesselman, wanted to create a vacation house that would be tied as much to the natural environment as to an aesthetic tradition. Photo by Philip Newton.