As my own father once pointed out, his native city, Seattle, functions as more of a “collection of great neighborhoods” with distinct identities than it does a proper city. And in terms of access to mass transit, walkability, ethnic and economic diversity, public green space and all of the things that make an urban neighborhood truly great, the southeast Seattle nabe of Columbia City is one of the greatest — and greenest — ones in the entire Emerald City.

Thanks in part to the presence of Anthony Maschmedt’s deep-green residential design-build firm Dwell Development, Columbia City has also emerged in as a hot-bed of innovative, net-zero building with projects including the Pacific Northwest’s built-on-spec certified Passivehaus and the transit-centric Columbia Station micro-community that’s home to numerous LEED Platinum-aiming residences. (Although based there, Dwell Development’s work isn’t exclusive to Columbia City and the greater Rainer Valley area; the firm’s projects can also be found in other Seattle and East Side neighborhoods).

One of Dwell Development’s more recent Columbia City projects is a doozie — a four-bedroom abode that, like a majority of the firm’s output, is boxy, modernist and topped with solar panels. In line with other Dwell Development properties, the 5 Star Built Green-certified property is outfitted with all the bells and whistles one would expect to find in a high-performance home: triple-glazed windows, radiant heating, a heat recovery ventilation system, electric vehicle charging and a 7.29 KW photovoltaic array that allows the home’s inhabitants to achieve net-zero energy usage. 

Reclaimed Modern by Dwell Development, Seattle

Reclaimed Modern by Dwell Development, Seattle

However, the 3,140-square-foot home — dubbed Reclaimed Modern — stands apart from the contemporary green pack with a strong emphasis on the use of salvaged materials including truckloads of wood and corrugated metal taken from a deconstructed barn in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

These salvaged elements aren’t politely tucked away or discreetly incorporated into the home’s design. They’re front and center — the structure’s siding and fencing is made from salvaged metal while the soffit (underside) of the roof above the third-floor roof deck is crafted from barn wood.

In addition to old barns in Oregon, Dwell repurposed other elements sourced on a decidedly more local basis. The Julian Webber-designed home itself is saddled directly next to an existing mid-century home that Dwell also treated to a full renovation to help bring its energy performance into the 21st century. In building the new structure, a single large parcel was split into two and a public sidewalk was removed. The concrete sidewalk is now the pathway leading up to Reclaimed Modern.

Reclaimed Modern by Dwell Development, Seattle

Abbey Maschmedt, Design Project Coordinator for Dwell Development, headed up the salvaging efforts. She notes: “We have always used a lot of materials with high recycled content, but the idea of actually taking and reusing materials from old buildings slated for demolition was the next step — a natural evolution.”

Like what you see?

Reclaimed Modern — a home that“proves the combination of modern design and pragmatic necessity is the future of development” –  is currently very much off the market as it sold for just under $1 million late last year.

In addition to its weathered good looks and top-notch energy performance, other standout features of the home include abundant entertaining space (much of it outdoors), Lake Washington views, high-end appliances and a heated two-car garage that, ideally, won’t see all that much action considering the home’s “Very Walkable” WalkScore of 77.

Reclaimed Modern by Dwell Development, Seattle

Reclaimed Modern by Dwell Development, Seattle

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Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.