Sound House

Sound House

Architect
GO'C
Location
Seattle, WA, USA | View Map
Category
Private Houses
Kevin Scott
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Sofas, Armchairs & OttomanB&B Italia
Pendant LightingLuceplan
Entry Door Hardware With Custom PullFritsJurgens
Wall MirrorSP01 Design
Sapele Wood Windows With AluminiumQuantum Windows & Doors
Cladding PanelsRichlite

Product Spec Sheet
Sofas, Armchairs & Ottoman
Entry Door Hardware With Custom Pull
Sapele Wood Windows With Aluminium

SOUND HOUSE

GO'C as Architects

About the Clients

Our clients, Brandon & Sarah Ebel, each had three children and they combined families and homes for the first time with the build of this house. Each member of the house had unique needs and desires for how the spaces should function. For Brandon, a music lover and owner of a local record label, intertwining audio throughout the house and creating a space for his large record collection was a high priority. For Sarah, a NYT best selling author and chef extraordinaire, having calm refuges to write, a library to house her many books, and a large kitchen to cook for family and friends was key.

photo_credit Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott

SOUND HOUSE Project Narrative:

Sound House is located in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood. This elevated peninsula northwest of downtown offers expansive views across the Puget Sound and to downtown Seattle. The project is a 5,500 square foot single family home replacing the existing house built in the 1920’s. There was an existing plateau at the top of the house where the new structure is placed. An existing series of terraced gardens and pathways were reworked to form a dining terrace and pool terrace nestled into the slope. One of the driving factors in the design of the house was the almost 360 degree views from the site and the design allows these to be maximized on each of the levels.

photo_credit Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott

The program for the house was unique in that it needed to house a large family of two adults and six children.The owners, Brandon & Sarah Ebel, each had three children and combined families and homes for the first time with the build of this house. Each member of the house had unique needs and desires for how the spaces should function. For Brandon, a music lover and owner of a local record label, intertwining audio throughout the house and creating a space for his large record collection was a high priority. For Sarah, a NYT best selling author and chef extraordinaire, having calm refuges to write, a library to house her many books, and a large kitchen to cook for family and friends was key. For the kids, the aim was to create their own private spaces to escape and also a dedicated kids area to play and do homework with good connections to the family living space. The house is designed to be enjoyed by all members of the family with plenty of living space and access to the many exterior terraces and roof decks - creating a house to gather within was of utmost importance. From the extensive views of the Puget Sound, the music playing, and the six kids that inhabit the house - Sound House seemed like the perfect name for this project.

photo_credit Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott

The house is spread across two main living levels as well as a basement that opens out onto the pool terrace and a rooftop level with extensive gardens. From the upper north street the house appears as two stacked horizontal bars with the materiality of the lower mass grounding the building and lightweight porous upper level revealing hints of the interior space. The upper level is clad in vertical tight knot cedar slats which open up to form screen walls over portions of the upper level glazing. Entering the house through a wide hallway creates a physical and visual connection from front to back and a glimpse of the views beyond. The rear of the house opens up to the garden terraces and swimming pool. The main level is largely glazed on this side allowing the living spaces a direct relationship to the terraces.

photo_credit Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott

At the heart of the house is a double height living space with wood burning fireplace and chimney that extends vertically through the space. Passing from public to private space as you ascend through the void, the transparency of the house responds by moving from open glazing to a wood slat brise-soleil, filtering sunlight and screening the interior spaces from the street. The void is flanked either side at the upper level with the kid's wing and primary wings connected by a lightweight bridge. Both wings have an active relationship to this main living space and each other whilst retaining their own privacy and character.

photo_credit Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott

The upper level design places the parent's primary wing on the east side of the house with their views focused to the south and the kid's wing occupying the west side. The kid's side functions as a bunkhouse of sorts, with 6 small bedrooms arranged around a sun-filled central play space with a large skylight above. Built-in desks and storage around the perimeter of the play space provide for the functional needs removed from the bedrooms, this allows the bedrooms to feel more spacious. The rooftop above the garage becomes an extension of the kid’s play space at this level. The primary wing cantilevers dramatically out over the dining terrace and pool below. Impressive views of the city and Puget Sound are seen from the primary deck and bedroom. A luxurious primary bathroom and his/hers dressing room occupy the central section of the wing. A small office is located in the northwest corner. Accessed from the upper level bridge, a suspended staircase leads to a large roof deck and gardens. The staircase is housed within a light monitor which drops natural light down into the living room below.

photo_credit Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott

Sound House is a 5,500sf single-family home on a steep slope site in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood. The program for the house was unique, in that it needed to house a large blended family of two adults and six children living together for the first time. An emphasis was placed on providing large shared spaces to enjoy together and smaller areas of retreat for all members of the family. All spaces in the house needed to maximize the extensive views across the city and Puget Sound. Working closely with the owners and how their large family prioritizes communal spaces was key to deriving a plan that would function well for their needs. Another design challenge of the project was to create a large family home that sits in context with its neighbors on a tight urban site. The sectional diagram was a key driver in designing the house and understanding the relationships to the steep slope and views to the south. The massing of the house allows it to appear in scale with neighboring properties on the north side and opens up to the south as it cascades down the site. The plan layout creates a central double height core (living room) allowing a separation of program at the upper level between the east primary wing and the west kids' wing while retaining a shared relationship between these spaces. This core central space, bookended with extensive glazing, draws light deep into the plan. Circulation passes through the double height living space from the basement level up to the roof terrace and garden. The roof serves as an additional gathering space for the family and also houses an 18-panel solar array to offset energy usage. An extensive 500sf roof garden allows the family to grow much of their own vegetables and kitchen herbs. The house is super-insulated with an exterior blanket of insulation and heated efficiently with radiant-hydronic heating throughout. The detail and design of the house was carefully considered from an urban scale down to the detail and flow of the steel handrails. Natural warmth was derived from the texture of the interior plaster, use of warm woods, and patina of the concrete and steel. It was important for the house to be both elegant and refined as well as withstand daily use from a family of 8 who like to entertain.

photo_credit Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott

SOUND HOUSE - QUOTES

ARCHITECT - QUOTES

“Sound House is a good example of the clients being very involved in the design and construction process and at the same time really trusting us and the work we do. That trust is such a huge part of the design and construction process allowing a project vision to be born and then realized."- Jon Gentry AIA

“It certainly doesn’t always happen, but on Sound House the first sketch of the floor plan was very close to what we built. The concept expressed in the plan was there from the beginning. One key approach that we talk about in the studio is to absorb all of the changes and input from the clients, consultants, and builders, let them inform the design, but to hold on to the essence of that initial concept.” - Jon Gentry AIA

photo_credit Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott

“On the north street side, the architecture offers privacy and protection through site walls and wood screens while on the south view side the structure explodes open to harness light and maximize prospect views over the city and Puget Sound.” - Jon Gentry AIA

“All of the beautifully crafted metal work on this project became a primary design thread that ties it all together. From the exposed structural steel to the bridge railings and stair treads all the way down to the first thing you touch with the entry door pull, the hand-crafted metalwork is evident and speaks to the level of care and craft that we were aiming for from the start.” - Jon Gentry AIA

photo_credit Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott

ARCHITECT - CONTRACTOR QUOTES

“You build a relationship over the years, it becomes more fluid in terms of the builder understanding the level of detail and the feel you are after. You become more 
tuned into one another and Sound House is a good example of a collaboration built on years of working together.” - Jon Gentry AIA

“We present ideas and detail them to the nines, but the project is only as good as the people that are putting it all together.” - Jon Gentry AIA, GO'C

photo_credit Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott

“Part of the reason Sound House was such a good collaboration is because we had a history of working with GO'C and a common design language. We knew we could get there on the more intricate pieces that were important.” - Chris Thomas, Thomas Fragnoli

“We got to work with some really great makers on the job. From the steel fabricators to the cabinet builders to the plaster finishers, they are all artists and perform their craft at a very high level. They were all willing to get on board with the vision. A good example, the steel fabricators hand forged the handrail corner transitions on site, modifying them slightly as needed to make them work perfectly.” - Chris Thomas, Thomas Fragnoli

photo_credit Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott

CONTRACTOR - OWNER QUOTES 

“All through the process, the owner made decisions that were good for the project from a design perspective. He took a leap of faith with us (GO'C and Thomas Fragnoli Construction) to get there. The owners trusted the process.” - Chris Thomas, Thomas Fragnoli

“The clients took ownership of being a part of the design and construction process - they were active participants. They put ideas in motion and participated in those being realized.” - Chris Thomas, Thomas Fragnoli

“It was one of the most collaborative and fun projects that we have ever worked on because of the team - the clients, GO'C, and Thomas Fragnoli Construction. Everyone always showed up. We were all working towards a common goal.” - Chris Thomas, Thomas Fragnoli

photo_credit Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott

“One thing that was great from a team standpoint was because we were involved very early in the Schematic Design Phase we were able to work through some of the complicated coordination items that related to the structure. The systems were a challenging part of the project. Without that early planning work, a bunch of the construction process wouldn’t have gone as well.” - Chris Thomas, Thomas Fragnoli

“GO'C had a vision for the pool and this seamless look of the concrete retaining wall diving into the water. We got the opportunity to build something that we haven’t really seen before - the pool installers had to be brought into the design process to help realize this detail. It seems like a simple detail but there are a number of people involved and sequencing of trades to make it happen.” - Chris Thomas, Thomas Fragnoli.

photo_credit Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott

Team:

GO’C PROJECT TEAM

Design Principals: Jon Gentry AIA, Aimée O’Carroll ARB

Architectural Staff: Ben Kruse, Yuchen Qiu

Contractor: Thomas Fragnoli Construction

Structural Engineering: Swenson Say Faget

Civil Engineering: J Welch Engineering

Lighting Design: Niteo Lighting

Photographer: Kevin Scott

Caption
Caption

Materials Used:

Kitchen/Dining

Cabinetry: Custom Walnut Cabinets by Scott Faulkner

Countertops and backsplash: Carrera Marble

Faucets: Dorbracht Tara Classic

Kitchen Sink: Pro Chef Julien

Range: Lacanche

Hood: Vent-a-hood

Flooring: Polished concrete

Refrigerator: True Refrigeration column unit

Dining Table: Custom by Scott Faulkner Design

Stools: Article Sede Counter Stool

Living Room:

Fireplace: Isokern wood burning fireplace

Lighting: Pendant - Luceplan Mesh

Speakers: Linn Klimax 350

Sofa: B&B Italia - Ray Sectional Sofa

Swivel chairs: B&B Italia Harbor Chairs and Ottoman

Rug: Restoration Hardware

Powder Room:

Powder room mirror: SP01 Design Michelle wall mirror

Sink: custom brass sink by Alpine Welding

Lighting: Allied Maker

Speakers: B&W Signature Diamond Loudspeakers

Library:

Sofa: B&B Italia Husk sofa

Fireplace: Regency gas fireplace 

Primary Bath:

Sink: Custom Carerra marble

Faucet: Dornbracht Tara Logic

Shower: Dornbracht Tara Logic

Bath tub Boffi Fisher Island

Toilet: TOTO

Tile: Interceramic tumbled marble mosaic

Lighting: Rich Brilliant Willing Crip Light wall sconce

Primary Bedroom

Bed:  DWR Matera bed

Interior:

Walls: Plaster finish

Interior door hardware: Emtek egg knob

Interior ceilings (kitchen/dining/entry) - cedar

Exterior:

Windows: Quantum Classic Series  - Sapele wood clad with aluminium

Decking: Ipe decking, concrete pavers

Cladding:

- Custom profile T&G cedar siding w/ ebony stain

- Richlite cladding panels

Exterior Plaster at main level

Entry Door hardware: Fritz Jurgen Series M hardware with custom pull

Caption
Caption

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