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Before ‘green design’ was a hip trend in the architecture industry, and before the term existed, Dave Thielsen established Thielsen Architects to create building forms and interior spaces that are responsive to the site, local climate and seasonal changes in natural light. “We design architecture that is not only functional and beautiful today, but will remain so over time,” says Thielsen, who is based in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland, WA and has practiced architecture in the Pacific Northwest for nearly 30 years. “Architecture firms need to respond to local settings and environments and thankfully in the last ten years we have seen a shift back to regional design. That building that works in the south probably won’t work in the northwest.” What works is the detailed services Thielsen Architects provides for their clients. An initial feasibility study determines if the property is a viable building site, and their intense site analysis includes investigation of zoning restrictions, geotechnical issues and environmentally sensitive areas. “During our programming phase we meet with our client, set out sketch paper and everyone gets pencils and we all sketch together,” says Thielsen.


“We encourage them to sketch their ideas during the preliminary design process. We want our clients to address their relationship with space and functionality issues.” This close working relationship with the client minimizes unexpected changes during the preliminary design and design development process. Thielsen stands out from its competitors during the advanced visualization process, which has been recognized regionally and nationally for the quality of their computer-generated images and animations. “Our clients do not completely understand our process until after they have moved in and lived in the house,” says Thielsen. “When they do, and see how all of their individual needs are met, they know it is a success.” A lot of that success is the result of Thielsen’s spatial organization and environmental concepts in design. “It is important to me to create space with natural light and balancing it from more than one source,” says Thielsen. “We want to create spaces that are light-filled and exciting to be in. We like the fact that our clients do not have to turn on lights until after the sun goes down.”

01 Perched on the upper level, the master bedroom enjoys an unrestricted view of Lake Washington and the Seattle city skyline from the floor to ceiling windows. Natural daylight and air flow is balanced by operable windows on three walls of the bedroom 02 The lake side of the home features three levels, each with its own exterior space. The covered patio on the lower level connects the recreation room to the lawn and lake. The large concrete deck on the main level offers both covered and open areas while the private deck on the upper level provides commanding views and a direct connection from the master suite. The stepped design of the upper floor allows lake views from each of the children’s bedrooms 03 Simple shed forms are juxtaposed, creating the winged roof line of the Joyous House. These forms create volume within the great room and master suite while introducing natural light deep into the home and facilitating natural ventilation



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Luxury Home Quarterly prepares for the summer heat with a look at cool and refreshing interior design elements, as well as ambitious homes f...


Luxury Home Quarterly prepares for the summer heat with a look at cool and refreshing interior design elements, as well as ambitious homes f...