Architect: Designs Northwest Architect
Dan Nelson, Principal Architect
Tom Rochon, Project Architect
Structural Engineer: Jason Lindquist
Interior Design: H2K Design
Garret Khulman and Wendy Kennedy
Landscape Design: Scott Lankford
Photographer: Lucas Henning
From the architects: The Tsunami House is a waterfront home located on a 291 square meters (3140 square foot) site in a high-velocity flood (V) zone on the northern end of Camano Island. The building footprint was limited to a 9 x 9 meters (30 x 30 foot) pad.
The 82,4 m² (887 ft²) main living level had to be located 1.5 m (5 ft) above grade and the foundations had to be designed on pilings capable of withstanding high-velocity tsunami wave action, 135 km/h (85 mph) winds and Seismic Zone D earthquakes. The lower 69 m² (748 ft²) space had to be designed with walls that were able to break away in the event of a storm surge.
Located in a high-velocity flood (V) zone on the northern end of Camano Island
Our design strategy was to locate the main living level 2.7 m (9 ft) above grade and leave the lower level to be used as a flexible multi-use space dubbed the “Flood Room”. Clear glass overhead doors open up to the waterside deck facing north, and translucent overhead doors open to the entry courtyard facing south, allowing privacy from the road. The depth of the lot is only 15 m (50 ft) and it required an above ground sand filter drain field that was 3 m (10 ft) wide. In order to integrate the sand filter into the limited site, it was encased in 1 m (3 ft) high architectural concrete walls and covered with a previous sun deck on top of the drain field. The drain field/sun deck also acts as a visual barrier between the road and the house providing privacy when all the overhead doors are open.
Ceilings are covered with western red cedar to add warmth
The exterior materials of the house are durable and low maintenance. The architectural concrete columns are left exposed and the exterior siding is a mixture of composite and galvanized standing seam panels and aluminium windows. The lower level floor is polished concrete with radiant floor heating and ceilings are covered with western red cedar to add warmth to the otherwise industrial feeling of the lower level.
A steel staircase constructed of bent plate steel leads up to the main living area, which is designed as a great room including a kitchen, a living and a dining space and an 18 m² (198 ft²) third level sleeping loft facing the water. The master bedroom located adjacent to the great room has sliding translucent doors that let light into the space and open up to the water view.
References to the natural world are made throughout the interior
The upper level is more refined with porcelain tiles on the floor, western red cedar on the ceiling and a sculptured »wave« plaster panel and milled finished steel trim surrounding the fireplace. The interior ship ladder and loft railings are mill finish steel throughout.