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olson kundig embeds rimrock house on the cliffside


olson kundig embeds corten residence next to cliff edge

perched on the edge of a steep cliff-face, ‘rimrock’ residence in spokane, washington, is a expansive private dwelling completed by olson kundig architects. the composition takes influence from the dynamic and irregular qualities of the rocky site, where the volume straddles two sides of a wash.


olson kundig rimrock house is located in spokane, washington
image © (above) benjamin benschneider / (here) kevin scott

its irregular topography influenced the elevated nature which serves for many functions. in addition to maintaining the existing animal path, the changing wind patterns and snow drifts during in the winter, olson kundig raised the property above the ground plane to maximize views overlooking the forest and mountain valley. the name ‘rimrock’ suggests to the scheme’s situation; a sheer rock wall at the upper edge of a plateau or canyon.

on its exterior, the structure is clad in corten, with the intention for envelope to weather naturally and blend with the wooded context. meanwhile in the interior, the architects’ design saught to take advantage of its height through natural light through full height windows and create an open yet protected program.

the private areas on the first floor, which include guest bedrooms and offices are clad in mild steel and arranged to allow the owner to migrate through the house as the conditions change throughout the day. this steel-clad portion rises to the north, leading to the private spaces of the master suite on the second floor. the void created below the cantilevered bedroom and the ground plane is wrapped in glass creating space for the living room, dining room and kitchen which are suspended above the ravine at the edge of the rock wall.


image © kevin scott

natasha kwok I designboom

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