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Guess where this house is located.

Its outdoor living spaces make the most of Yakima's bright, dry climate

Making the most of dry, sunny weather is what this house in Yakima, Washington, is all about. Except in the coldest winter months, the owners take daily advantage of outdoor living spaces. Designed by architect RodKnipper, the house rises unobtrusively from the surrounding rockscape. Though Southwestern in style, its bold geometric forms fit well in the Northwestern desert, too.

A large terrace off the kitchen wraps around one corner of the house-one segment facing south and east, the other facing north. When days are bright but chilly, the south-facing exposure is often warm; when weather's hot, the shaded north terrace provides a cool retreat, But for full sun, privacy, and an expansive view, the owners climb up the last flight in the stairwell (the vertical form in the photograph at left) and enjoy their roof deck. Large south-facing windows let winter sun into the house, where concrete floors absorb-and gradually radiate-its heat. Trellises stretched over the windows support wisteria vines. In winter, tbe leafless vines let in sun; in summer, a leafy bower screens it.

The stairwell also acts as a chimney. When summer temperatures climb, opening large doors and windows downstairs admits breezes. Excess heat rises, then exits through the roof deck door.

The 2,200-square-foot house is standard wood frame on a concrete slab. Its stucco exterior stands up well to the desert's dramatic swings between heat and cold. (Here, wood siding tends to dry and split, and painted wood tends to crack and peel.) Pigment in the stucco makes it blend into the surrounding landscape.

Yucca, sumac, sage, and sunflowers contrast handsomely with the house's clean lines. And, appropriate to the dry climate of Yakima, the garden is water-frugal.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Yakima, Washington
Date:Jul 1, 1989
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