The cinder block house

Extensive Renovation and addition to a mid-century home built in 1960 with a southern view toward Mount Rainier.

The Cinder Block House involved reconfiguring the plan of the existing two-story house to achieve a more open plan concept consisting of the living, kitchen, and dining spaces oriented to a 20’ wide sliding glass door leading to a new covered deck. Every effort was made to maintain and enhance the stained beam and plywood ceilings.

A 1,200 two-story addition included a main floor with the main bedroom, bathroom, walk-in closet, and powder room. The lower floor’s primary purpose is an open plan artist’s studio or a one car garage. The exterior walls of the addition are clad with CMU block and the roof is built with open beams and plywood ceilings to math the materials used to construct the original house.

The Hilltop Community-

The home is in the historic Hilltop community established in 1948 in Bellevue as a collaborative group of homeowners built on 40 sites strategically positioned by architects, university professors, engineers, and artists building their dream home. Architect John Morse designed 8 of the original Hilltop homes. He said “these structures represent a consistent dedication to the principles and spirit of the site and community. The founders of the neighborhood created design rules suggesting houses were required to have straight forward contemporary character adapted to the site. Contemporary was defined as functional, designed more for comfort, utility, and internal beauty than for display! This type of architecture favors the use of natural materials such as wood and stone, complemented by the lightness of space…it stands for honest construction, and it expresses the richness of simplicity”. Young northwest modernist architects in the early 1950’s like Roland Terry, Fred Bassetti, Paul Kirk, Wendell Lovett, and Morse all designed simple contemporary homes in this community that responded to the conditions of the different sites and potential stunning views of the greater Seattle area from this wooded hilltop setting.