Fred Bassetti is an iconic Seattle architect who has had a profound influence in the shaping of Seattle’s skyline and Northwest urban communities in US. Platted in 1853 by early settlers Seattle grew around an economy of lumber, coal mining, and fishing. In the late 1890s, Seattle grew rapidly due to Alaska gold rushes and its architecture changed really fast. Smith Tower built in 1914 for $1 million which was a fortune at that time was indicative of that growth. Starting his projects in the late 1940s, Bassetti contributed significantly to development of modern architecture in the Pacific Northwest. In fact most of the significant buildings in Seattle are influenced by Fred Bassetti’s work – the Federal Building, Woodland Park Zoo, Key Tower, and Pike Place Marke. One of his earliest buildings, built in 1962, was recently renovated by the innovators at Chadbourne + Doss Architects. Their work embodies a fascination with the contrasting relationships of everyday life – inside/outside, public/private, technology/nature. Their transformation of this minimalist house design on Mercer Island in Washington rooted the house to its sloping hillside site by a steel skin which covers the home’s roof and exterior thus providing a protective shelter for family life.
Modern minimalist house design
There is an aluminum bar grating screen that wraps around an exterior patio and deck inviting outdoor living into the home’s floor plan. It also filters interior views and forms a sparkling and diaphanous wall from the street. The entry approach was redesigned with cantilevered concrete walls that were set within a sunken courtyard, that leads to a 4-by-11-ft. pivoting door. The materials, used in this minimalist house design are natural yet crafted in an extremely crisp manner while expansive glass walls deepen the connection between inside and out.