Architect Jim Burton Gives a 1950s Queen Anne House a Mod Remodel: Tour it: This Sunday!
A 1950s rambler turns 21st-century mod.
Imagine investing your labor, love and money into building your dream house, and then having to sell it.
That’s called business for Rick and Heidi Ward, owners of the Seattle real estate marketing firm 360 Modern and the development firm Build Modern. The spec specialists—he’s a builder and they’re both real estate brokers—actually built two dream houses. While completing one modern dwelling in Magnolia, they lived in a frill-free, 1950s rambler on Queen Anne Hill. When they started in on the rambler’s mod remodeling, they moved into the finished Magnolia house, which ultimately became their permanent address. Initially, though, says Rick, they weren’t sure which of the two houses would become home. “We decided to put the Queen Anne one on the market…but I’m still torn between it and the Magnolia house,” he says.
To take on the major Queen Anne remodeling and its sky-seeking second-story addition, which now captures postcard-perfect views of Fremont’s Cut to the east and Ballard’s boatyards to the west, the Wards tapped architect Jim Burton of Seattle’s Blip Design. “I think we have a common interest and vision. We both like to do green and modern,” says Burton, who also is president of Passive House Northwest. The Queen Anne house is Built Green certified (as are all of Burton’s projects) and, as well as being pre-piped for solar (which the homeowner since has installed), boasts a low-maintenance wood-veneer rainscreen siding, a high-velocity air purifier system and recycled Durat countertops. Another kind of cost-saving recycling came courtesy of leftovers from the Magnolia project, including some of the wood siding and the folding glass door (a $20,000 savings) that's off of the kitchen.
Burton’s dynamic design, composed of two volumes differently clad in stone and wood, preserves the rambler’s original footprint but gains 800 square feet of living space via the addition that contains the master suite (which comes with easy access to the new 700-square-foot rooftop terrace) and two other bedrooms. There’s something of a formula when it comes to their projects’ floor plans, admits Rick, such as having three bedrooms and the laundry upstairs. “There are things you have to do if you want to maximize your value and have houses that appeal to people.” Adds Burton, “An interesting thing about working with the Wards is that they had ideas about things that had to be….They have this built-up knowledge for what people want.” Not remotely formulaic is Burton’s soaring butterfly-trussed roof with its gorgeous underbelly of VG fir (beautifully repeated in the ceiling of the master bedroom), or the main floor’s mod mélange. “We kept talking about how we wanted to create a warm, modern home,” says Rick of the design process. “Even though you’ve got some big pieces of glass and steel beams, we wanted to incorporate wood to warm it up.” Evidence of Burton and the Wards’ success is that Diana, the home’s eventual buyer, turned out to be an artisan woodworker who had never before lived in a modern house. “I’ve always lived in old houses: a 1770s house, a Craftsman house, an 1820s house,” she says, “but we saw this house online and just fell in love with its light, the modern touches, the glass, the height, its warmth.”
Although the house now presents a taller, markedly mod profile, thanks in large part to its big tree canopy and its new terraced landscaping, it doesn’t overwhelm its neighbors. Remarks Rick, “We lived here for almost three years, our kids grew up here for a while, so we became friends with everyone on the block, and we didn’t want to alienate anyone.”
Another collateral benefit of this home’s special spec origins.
To take the full photo tour of this house, click here.
A Homeowner's Story
Our cabin up on Stuart Island, Washington, is run by solar power, and after being exposed to the ease, and inspiration, of creating one's own power, we thought, why not have panels installed in our Seattle home? Photovoltaics bring in power throughout the seasons and once they are installed, in this city, you can just leave them be and let them do their job. Furthermore, we really think it is important to set an example for what is possible. If solar cells can do it in the cool, cloudly Northwest, why not in warmer climates?
Puget Sound Solar (Ballard, 5308 Baker Ave. NW; 206.706.1931; www.pugetsoundsolar.com) did our install. They made the process easier than I would have possibly imagined. I was especially pleased to see that they were located at the edge of Ballard; making us almost neighbors. Not only do they know the area, and have done a lot of installs locally, but they also did the leg work on interfacing with Seattle City Light.
The power we generate now goes directly back into the grid. We have a meter where we can see the dial spin as we create electricity via the sun. Conversely, we also watch the City Light meter spin backwards, whittling away on what we will have to pay monthly. We also can access a Website which details our power generation and we receive monthly e-mails detailing our kWh production and a fun "trees saved" fact.
Our total up-front costs were: $21,000 for the Solar Electric System
- 30% is eligible for Federal Tax Credit over a two year period
- WA State sales tax is waived
- WA Utilities pays $.15/kWh to $.36/kWh for every kilowatt produced for 10 years
- Reduced monthly electrical bills
The up-front costs can be an eye-opener. But the monthly savings, the revenue and tax credit are quite an incentive when one just wants to make a difference.
OPEN HOUSE STATS
Architectural Firm :: Blip Design
Cost :: Approximately $190 per square foot for an 4,300-square-foot house
(total project cost might include additional fees for other services that
are not reflected)
Tour it :: Sunday, November 20 (see details and address below)
Our ongoing partnership with the American Institute of Architects Seattle Chapter (AIA Seattle) continues our commitment to bring the experience of Puget Sound–area residential design to our readers. Each issue, we showcase an architect-designed home, selected by AIA Seattle and Northwest Home, which will be open to the public for a Sunday-afternoon viewing. We invite you to tour this featured home, designed by Jim Burton, AIA, of Blip Design, located in Queen Anne at 3429 Tenth Ave. W, on Sunday, November 20, between noon and 3 p.m. For more information on the tour and the Open House program, please visit aiaseattle.org; 206.448.4938.
FIND IT RESOURCES
Architect: Jim Burton AIA, LEED AP, CPHC, Passive House Northwest (phnw.org) president, Blip Design, Ballard; 206.501.8746; blipdesign.com. Builder: Rick Ward, 360 Modern; 206.200.6626; 360modern.com. Structural engineer: Greg Juttner, Swenson Say & Faget, Belltown; 206.443.6212; swensonsayfaget.com. HVAC consultant: NW Mechanical, Shoreline; 206.267.4328; nwmechanical.com. Mechanical installer: NW Mechanical. Structural steel fabricator: Redmond Welders & Fabricators, Redmond; 425.222.6330; redmondwelders.com. Sheet metal fabricator: Ballard Sheet Metal, Ballard, 4763 Ballard Ave. NW; 206.784.0545; ballardsheetmetal.com. Landscape architect: Dan Billey, Silverleaf Landscape, West Seattle, 2131 45th Ave. SW; 206.938.4793; silverleaf-landscape.com. Landscape install/maintenance: Devonshire Landscapes, West Seattle, 5430 17th Ave. SW; 206.856.3360; devonshirelandscapes.com. Kitchen appliances: Albert Lee Appliances, Interbay, 1476 Elliott Ave. W; 206.282.2110; albertleeappliances.com. Artisan wooden bowls: Diana Friend at Kobo Gallery; koboseattle.com; Kirsten Gallery (new show, Nov. 13); kirstengallery.com; and Slab Art; slabart.com. Custom oak cabinetry: Henrybuilt, Downtown, 997 Western Ave.; 206.624.9270; henrybuilt.com. Custom glass: Cascade Glass, Fremont, 151 Nickerson St.; 206.284.1100; cascadeglass.net. Kitchen countertop material: Durat. Ceramic tile installer: JC Masonry. Master bath sink: duravit.com. Master bath tile wall: Susan Jablon Mosaics; 607.349.0553; susanjablonmosaics.com. Master bath ceramic flooring: daltile.com. Folding glass wall: eclipsearchitectural.com. Sliding glass door: fleetwoodusa.com. Glass front door: Aluminex. Barn door hardware: Bartels; 866.529.5679; bartelsusa.com. Windows: mercerwindows.com. Hardwood flooring: Engineered rift-sawn oak, Owens Flooring. Dining table, living room coffee table, desk: Slab Art, Ballard, 4919 17th Ave. NW; 206.412.8658; slabart.com. Living room chairs: Paris Axiome leather arm chair with chrome base, Roche Bobois, Downtown, 1015 Western Ave.; 206.332.9744; roche-bobois.com. Stone siding: Ground-face Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU), Mutual Materials; 888.688.8250; mutualmaterials.com. Wood-veneer siding: Prodema. Permeable pavers: HydraPressed, Abbottsford Concrete Products; pavingstones.com. Window washer: Brannon’s Window Cleaning; 206.499.2942; email@example.com. Realtor: Heidi Ward, 360 Modern; 206.200.6626; 360modern.com.