Launch Slideshow

The design of the Chuckanut Ridge stair is based on traditional Japanese tansu step chests.

Chuckanut Ridge, Bow, Wash.

Chuckanut Ridge, Bow, Wash.

  • The design of the Chuckanut Ridge stair is based on traditional Japanese tansu step chests.

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    The design of the Chuckanut Ridge stair is based on traditional Japanese tansu step chests.

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    Diane Padys Photography

    The design of the Chuckanut Ridge stair is based on traditional Japanese tansu step chests.

  • Sliding partitions reveal or conceal the stair.

    http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmpBA20%2Etmp_tcm48-1216649.jpg

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    Sliding partitions reveal or conceal the stair.

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    Benjamin Benschneider

    Sliding partitions reveal or conceal the stair.

  • The stair provides sculptural interest and a jolt of color to an otherwise quiet interior.

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    The stair provides sculptural interest and a jolt of color to an otherwise quiet interior.

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    Benjamin Benschneider

    The stair provides sculptural interest and a jolt of color to an otherwise quiet interior.

  • Access to the second floor can be closed off without hiding the stair.

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    Access to the second floor can be closed off without hiding the stair.

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    Benjamin Benschneider

    Access to the second floor can be closed off without hiding the stair.

  • The stair compartment also holds a small bar area and access to the family room.

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    The stair compartment also holds a small bar area and access to the family room.

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    Benjamin Benschneider

    The stair compartment also holds a small bar area and access to the family room.

  • While the stairs form derives from a Japanese archetype, its red lacquer finish speaks of China.

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    While the stairs form derives from a Japanese archetype, its red lacquer finish speaks of China.

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    Benjamin Benschneider

    While the stair’s form derives from a Japanese archetype, its red lacquer finish speaks of China.

chuckanut ridge, bow, wash.
prentiss architects
seattle

The long wall of sliding doors that lends versatility to this house’s linear floor plan also holds a delightful surprise: a glossy red stair-cum-storage cabinet that gives the understated interior an emphatic punctuation mark. Reflecting the owners’ Japanese and Chinese backgrounds, the assembly takes its form from the traditional tansu step chest. Enfolded within doors that symbolize the panels of a kimono, its lacquer finish is a color considered auspicious in Chinese culture, explains architect Geoffrey T. Prentiss. The jury deemed the result “an accessible detail—not too fussy, but practical and clever.”

 

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project credits

principal in charge: Geoffrey T. Prentiss, Prentiss Architects; general contractor: Bill Miers, Emerald Builders, Ferndale, Wash.; construction cost: $400 per square foot; photography: Diane Padys Photography and Benjamin Benschneider.