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Clyde Hill, WA

The shingle-style house is a culmination of architectural periods and vernaculars which began cropping up during the popular late 19th-century summer destinations such as Cape Cod, Newport, and Long Island. Massive stone masonry foundations anchored free-form two and three-story floors while continuous wood shingles wrapped walls and roofs. Expansive porches offer vacationers shaded areas for family life and socializing. While the unadorned style still finds its origins on the many coastal regions of New England landscape and even here in the Northwest, it has taken hold in and around the San Juan’s and even inner urban areas like Seattle and Bellevue.

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Shingle in Seattle

I'd rather be Shingle in Seattle than Lap-Sided in Duluth. You?

Smart. Stylish. Perfect.

DutchcolonialREVIVAL

The Shingle style is an American architectural style made popular by the rise of the New England school of architecture, which eschewed the highly ornamented patterns of the Eastlake style in Queen Anne architecture. In the Shingle style, English influence was combined with the renewed interest in Colonial American architecture which followed the 1876 celebration of the Centennial. The plain, shingled surfaces of colonial buildings were adopted, and their massing emulated.

Aside from being a style of design, the method also conveyed a sense of the house as constant volume. This effect—of the building as an envelope of space, rather than a great mass, was enhanced by the visual tautness of the flat shingled surfaces, the horizontal shape of many Shingle-style houses, and the emphasis on horizontal continuity, both in exterior details and in the flow of spaces within the homes.

 

The exterior of the Shingle home is typically identified by large, bulky, often asymmetrical shapes with haystack gambrel roofsdormer windows, minimal decorative elements with the exception of a minor Georgian or Palladian detailing here and there. The style consistently uses full horizontal profiles, stone chimneys, and of course everything else swathed in sun-bleached shingles.

This is a style that lends itself well to a variety of silhouettes that translates into dramatic roof lines with repetitive dormers, and bay windows. The gambrel roofs and shed dormers easily create an additional finished area for second-story terraces. First-floor porches tuck easily beneath the main roof lines and wrap these irregular footprints better than any other traditional architectural style.

The spirit of shingle architecture still reigns without compromise.  The shingle-style house is a culmination of architectural periods and vernaculars which began cropping up during the popular late 19th-century summer destinations such as Cape Cod, Newport, and Long Island. Massive stone masonry foundations anchored free-form two and three-story floors, while continuous wood shingles wrapped walls and roofs. Expansive porches offer vacationers shaded areas for family life and socializing. While the unadorned style still finds its origins on the many coastal areas of New England landscape and even here in the Northwest, it has taken hold in and around the San Juan’s and even inner urban areas like Seattle and Bellevue. 

Driving through coastal New England and Newport reveals a multitude of rounded, rambling, shingled matrons along the waterfront. They are always in silver and faded gray tones with elegant wooden forms blending into nature’s beach palettes. On misty mornings, they look like eroded sand castles randomly placed along the dunes.

 

The "Shingle in Seattle" has an abundance of asymmetrical shingle-style ideas. This style lends itself well to a variety of silhouettes that translate into dramatic roof lines with repetitive dormers and bay windows. The gambrel roofs and shed dormers easily create an additional finished area for second-story terraces. First-floor porches tuck easily beneath the main roof lines and wrap these irregular footprints better than any other traditional architectural style.

Some style is legendary – Shingle-Style is one of them.

Roofers at Work

A Life Devoted to Design

And Still Going

What makes a house function and look right? What makes a piece of music sound right? Or a verse or prose read just right? Or any suitable fabric of art of any kind, be it sound words, color, substance - compel perceiving minds to give instant assent to its validity - good design results when experience and education collide with an explainable intuition. When found, both the gifted individual should relish for his talents and the client for the same.

Then what does make a house look right? Why do some seem as if they had grown naturally out of the ground they stand on while others, some of them good enough in themselves, nevertheless bulge and glare like excrescences? All such failures and successes depend upon the breach or the observance of the same law that governs architecture's rules.

Oh, how fortunate is the family who has a grand home on a hill, with acres sufficient. Perhaps with an alluring view of a significant body of water or a distant mountain.  And landscape sufficient to be screened from wind and winter, to be shaded and protected from summer sultriness, to have a garden with plump and colorful vegetables and so lucky is the family who also has the money to pay for all of this. Ahh, to be so fortunate. But no less important, or blessed, is the family who has but a tiny home on a small patch of land within a street full of neighbors close by; who will create their views within and still have wanted and need for summer shade and winter protection.

Fortunate are both when their homes create a skilled architectural designer who has both imagination and a sense of economic reality to a choice that is right, not wrong, and an expression that is good, not evil.

And so, an enduring partnership is formed between client and architect. That relationship is every bit as crucial to the success of a new home as is the fundamental understanding of the individual role each participant plays in seeing this partnership to its fullest.