Kutcher House

Awards | Description

The Kutcher Residence is a permanent residence for a family of five. The house is perched on a giant granite boulder outcrop, on a spectacular hilltop site overlooking the shipping lanes of a nearby port city. The sequence of arrival is indirect in order to heighten the anticipation of the dramatic landscape. One approaches the hilltop home from the north on an oblique angle, passing through the steel scissor stair, finally arriving at the 'living pavilion'.

The effort involved in entering the house is constrasted with the serene, sanctuary-like quality of the 'living pavilion', an elevated temple-like platform raised high above the world. This four bay Great Room is protected at the back (north) by the service zone, bracketed at its ends by a pair of identical hearths, the 21' kitchen island, and the rock. The outlook is framed by a wraparound floor to ceiling glass wall which is constantly animated by passing ships in the horizon.

The building is grounded by the long concrete wall, which is reinforced by the concrete slab, stair treads, raised hearth and the Great Room concrete perimeter 'gutter' which expresses the passive solar heating system. The structural steel columns allow for the building to float above the rocks, and are reinforced by the steel stairs, railing and gate. Douglas fir plywood wind shear fins transfer horizontal wind loads into the concrete base. The standing seam galvalume wrapper folds and extrudes to protect the interior. The glazed void between the blunt steel forehead (man) and the rock (nature) creates a place for living.

1999 Lieutenant Governor’s Medal of Excellence