Finne Architects' lightweight Mazama House in Washington State

Benjamin Benschneider,

Pavilions, Sport & Wellness,

Design, contemporary,

Wood, Glass, Metal,


A house about to take off into flight: the shape of the roof, the idea of suspension and the relationship between inside and outside integrate the building into its context in Methow Valley, Washington State, with the light touch typical of Nils Finne's buildings

Finne Architects' lightweight Mazama House in Washington State

Mazama House, designed by Finne Architects, is located in the state of Washington, about 200 miles from Seattle. It stands out lightly against its surroundings, a copse of trees in a big meadow in the Methow Valley. The house is made up of two main volumes: the first, on two levels, rests on the ground and serves as an anchor for the second, suspended a metre above ground on six slender metal pillars.

It is this second volume that makes Nils Finne's building so unusual: the need to avoid the accumulation of snow typical in the valley in winter becomes a strong point supporting the concept of lightness. Suspension, combined with the shape of the roof, creates the impression that the house really might fly away!
The roof on Mazama House consists of timber beams that continually change their angle, curving towards the top of the roof at the ends. From inside, it looks like a fan unfolding along the entire length of the pavilion.

It is in this space that the living room is located: a long hall including a kitchen, entirely covered with wood, with big windows overlooking the view outside, a cast-glass kitchen counter, laser-cut steel railing panels, cast bronze inserts at the front door and custom-designed furniture. Nils Finne investigates the concept of crafted modernism.

Francesco Cibati

Year: 2014
Location: Washington, U.S.A.
Image: Courtesy of the architect
Design: FINNE Architects
Photo: Benjamin Benschneider


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