chuckanut ridge, bow, wash.
prentiss architects

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.