Grand Award: Floating Function

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Not only does this remodel integrate a light-flooded, modern kitchen into a historically significant home without disrupting the integrity of the exterior elevations, it's also green.

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How does one integrate a light-flooded, modern kitchen into a historically significant home without disrupting the integrity of the exterior elevations?

For Stuart Silk Architects, the solution took surgical form — with a little rearrangement and augmentation. By squaring out the back of the home, room was created for a strikingly austere yet inviting eat-in kitchen that opens graciously onto an adjoining family room.

The kitchen combines a minimalist aesthetic with the warmth of dark-stained, rift-cut white oak cabinets. Among its most striking features is a sculptural island, its massiveness diminished by two L-shaped, nickel “wings” topped by 3-inch-thick, Calcutta marble shelves. “It seems to float,” said the judges, also noting the project’s “quietude.”

The supports were locally fabricated, as was the custom stainless steel hood that, along with a simple marble shelf, enhances the room’s expansiveness and functionality. The kitchen was part of a four-phase whole-house renovation that received a Built Green certification from King and Snohomish Counties.

Location: Seattle
Designer:   Stuart Silk Architects Ltd., Seattle, Wash.
Contractor:  Bender Chaffey Corp., Kirkland, Wash.

See list of all 2008 RDA winners.