North Bay ResidenceBeach Style Landscape, Seattle

Photographer: Jay Goodrich

This 2800 sf single-family home was completed in 2009. The clients desired an intimate, yet dynamic family residence that reflected the beauty of the site and the lifestyle of the San Juan Islands. The house was built to be both a place to gather for large dinners with friends and family as well as a cozy home for the couple when they are there alone.

The project is located on a stunning, but cripplingly-restricted site overlooking Griffin Bay on San Juan Island. The most practical area to build was exactly where three beautiful old growth trees had already chosen to live. A prior architect, in a prior design, had proposed chopping them down and building right in the middle of the site. From our perspective, the trees were an important essence of the site and respectfully had to be preserved. As a result we squeezed the programmatic requirements, kept the clients on a square foot restriction and pressed tight against property setbacks.

The delineate concept is a stone wall that sweeps from the parking to the entry, through the house and out the other side, terminating in a hook that nestles the master shower. This is the symbolic and functional shield between the public road and the private living spaces of the home owners. All the primary living spaces and the master suite are on the water side, the remaining rooms are tucked into the hill on the road side of the wall.

Off-setting the solid massing of the stone walls is a pavilion which grabs the views and the light to the south, east and west. Built in a position to be hammered by the winter storms the pavilion, while light and airy in appearance and feeling, is constructed of glass, steel, stout wood timbers and doors with a stone roof and a slate floor. The glass pavilion is anchored by two concrete panel chimneys; the windows are steel framed and the exterior skin is of powder coated steel sheathing.

This is an example of a mid-sized beach style full sun rooftop gravel landscaping in Seattle. —  Houzz
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This photo has 5 questions
annieannie0601 wrote:March 30, 2014
  • PRO
    Intermountain Roofscape Supply

    @hollietruesdale - The picture I posted before is a sedum (a succulent ground cover) mix, with accent perennials. This roof was installed on a new Boise State University building. Depending on your area, a wide variety of ground cover and accent plants may be available to you (depending on your substrate depth...<6 is called Extensive, >6 is called Intensive). Retrofit jobs are common, as long as an architect or building engineer OKs your roof weight load rating. If you are building a new house, You Architect can sole spec a green roof company. In our case, we typically travel with our fully grown roofs to the building site and certify either a landscaping team or a team put together by the GC (sometimes the owners opt to install themselves) for installation. If you are interested, check out to see if a grower is in your area. Otherwise there are many options available to you!

  • PRO
    Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects

    Fantastic info, thanks @Intermountain Roofscape!

leemcbride wrote:January 19, 2013
  • Holly Daley
    A beautiful exterior to blend in with nature. The view . . of course, is breathtaking.
  • Drew Standidge
    What is the pitch on this roof and how deep is the growing medium? sorry for the repeat
D&W Windows and Sunrooms wrote:March 4, 2016
  • PRO
    Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects

    Thanks, this is one of our favorite projects! The specialist established this roof with just mats of sedum, but there are a number of options to explore -- we recommend you check out The Green Roof Manual by Snodgrass and McIntyre, if you're interested in the design side.

  • PRO

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful pic here. A garden roof not only makes the roof beautiful but also adds a number of advantages for the homeowner. It reduces the amount of energy that is needed to moderate the building's temperatures. The daily energy demand for air- conditioning is also reduced. And the best advantage is that it reduces the pollution level.

monicabendele wrote:March 4, 2015
  • PRO
    Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects

    The exterior stone throughout this project is Buff Gray Castle Rock, sourced from the Marenakos Rock Center. They may be able to answer your question about the quarry specifics.

  • PRO

    Thanks for great project.I think you can get more incredible ideas if you hire certified roofing contractor.I really appreciate your roofing services.Nice sharing.

pitneyhouse wrote:October 22, 2013

What Houzz contributors are saying:

Falon Land Studio LLC added this to How to Design Your Landscape to Sink Water Into the GroundFebruary 15, 2016

Design Green Roofs for InfiltrationGreen roofs have the ability to slow water and to sink water. The shallow types, such as this green roof planted with sedum, offset roof runoff by soaking up water during small storms. Deeper green roofs infiltrate even more water. Find a green roof specialist in your area

Matt Clawson added this to What to Know Before Selecting Your Home’s Roofing MaterialJune 22, 2015

Alternative roof materials. There are various alternative roof materials you might consider if your home is the type that can truly stand out from the crowd and make a statement. Many of these materials are environmentally conscious options, like the living roof shown here.Read more about alternative roof materials

Matt Kilburn added this to Alpine Plants: High Performers at Low Altitudes TooDecember 9, 2013

Green roofs. Alpine plants are also perfectly suited to green roof applications, because of their drought tolerance and low stature. Sedum varieties (shown here) vary greatly in texture and color, creating a detailed carpet of plantings that will add interest to an otherwise static surface.

Mariana Pickering (Emu Building Science) added this to 6 Green-Roof Myths, BustedOctober 22, 2013

An “extensive” green roof, on the other hand, is a thinner, lighter, version that looks more similar to a standard roof. It can be sloped or flat. Often it will be planted with sedum (stonecrop). Many "semi-intensive" green roofs are home to an array of plant species, including native grasses and flowers.

What Houzzers are commenting on:

Peter Sidgwick added this to GB RoofJanuary 1, 2020

This would be the best but might not stay on the roof

Erica Arnold added this to Payne St Reno IdeabookNovember 23, 2019

Flora and fauna covered roof - idea for a shed/greenhouse

Kory Garcia added this to Roof StylesOctober 18, 2019

This roof has grass for its roof that means that it will help better oxygen flow and produce more oxygen.

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