While not strictly Modern, this home designed by Warren Lloyd displays elements of Modern aesthetics with its clean lines and well-placed use of natural light. Architectural photos: Mark Weinberg | Warren Lloyd photo: Sara Bateman

Illuminations: Ones to watch

When Warren Lloyd’s clients moved from Seattle, Washington, to Millcreek in Utah’s Wasatch Range, his biggest challenge was to provide a home filled with natural light all day long.

“We wanted to create a place that was special, and in some degree secluded. But they have neighbors, so while we wanted light, we also strove for privacy,” says Lloyd, from his firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Lloyd Architects. “We knew a glass house wouldn’t work.”

The design concept was to construct a house that acted as a light-filled umbrella, filtering daylight. The two-level, 6,000 square-foot home provides cross ventilation by means of a linear central cupola extending along a spine from the living and dining areas to the kitchen. The cupola centers on a stone-and-white, oak-clad hearth and fireplace which allows light to filter down from the clerestory to the main floor. The glare is shaded by deep overhanging eaves.

“Although the clients had been in Seattle for a couple of years, the wife is from Utah, so she needed the sunshine,” Lloyd says. “We wanted to filter the daylight throughout the space, for good light all day. The low-pitched roof form, although long, also illuminates at night. It’s not only to bring in daylight. As the afternoon and evening comes on, the house reverses and it starts to glow.”

To enter the home, one crosses a bridge lined with Ipe wood benches. The bridge’s design brings in daylight to the lower-level bedrooms and family spaces. From the kitchen, there are views of the front yard that also extend diagonally to the landscape and mountains while providing privacy from the street.

The horizontal windows and open corner views give the house a distinct Modern Prairie feel, but also recall a Japanese villa and garden with its “borrowed landscape.”

“This isn’t a Modernist house in the sense of a lot of dynamic, severe forms,” Lloyd says. “The roofline has deep eaves, and I think some have described it as a Modern Prairie — and there are elements of that in it, the broad eaves that provide shade — but I would call it a clean Modern house.”

Interestingly, there are no hallways in the house. All the rooms flow into each other, which Lloyd designed specifically with his client’s daily routine in mind.

“It was a response to her desires,” Lloyd says. “She described her daily routine, and then we created a space where she can circulate back and forth throughout the day.”

There are also some subtle things about the height of the house. Lloyd raised the elevation of the floor just high enough so that the view lines are private from the kitchen and other parts of the house. He calls this “prospect and refuge,” to see without being seen.

“If you’re careful about how the house relates to the street, you can create separation and you can still have windows — not walls — to maintain privacy,” he says. “We knew we wouldn’t have a second floor, so we wanted the whole house high enough for a little separation. We created the entry bridge as a transition and a sense of arrival to the house.”

Lloyd has been practicing in Seattle and Salt Lake City for more than 25 years, with the majority of his work being residential. “It’s what we’re known for,” he says. “And we really enjoy working individually with each client.”

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