Blogging the Seattle Times: Architect Gene Zema's Northwest Home

Blogging the Seattle Times: Architect Gene Zema's Northwest Home

Talk about Northwest style. At 81, Gene Zema has done his part to tap the vibe of our rainy, woodsy region through his architecture. Zema's signature tree trunk beams and railings — bark and all — and cedar shingle interiors grace the home he designed and built with his own hands, featured in Sunday's Seattle Times.

The site of Zema's home, which took him seven years to build, used to be an old military training ground on an island in the North Puget Sound. Scrap stone from the site was used inside for the massive fireplace. The material also makes an appearance lining the Japanese-stlye bath overlooking the grounds through low windows.

Other environmentally conscious features of his home include the use of salvaged glass from the relatively new Swedish Medical Center window re-do, and a guest suite that can be sealed off from the rest of the house to conserve heat.

In the interview Zema speaks to his bewilderment at the proliferation of craftsman-style new construction, which he finds lacking in innovation and symptomatic of a population wanting to escape to simpler times. We find the simple warmth of Zema's wooden lodge style escape enough. That guest room available anytime soon, Gene?

Images: Benjamin Benschneider / The Seattle Times.

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