Boztepe House

A new Whidbey Island home designed for a recently retired PNW couple drawn to island life.

The homeowners plan to host family and friends, purchase a tractor, plant a hazelnut orchard (a family tradition), and maintain a bountiful garden. The low-slung gable-roofed house is stretched along the brow of a clearing, where the ground falls away to the east, toward the Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains.

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The design features a long offset gable roof that spans a garage, 2 levels of bedrooms, and a lofted main living area, and extends to cover a southern terrace. A breezeway carved between the garage and house creates a striking portal that connects the upper site with the view beyond. This generous informal entry, where outdoor projects start and end, includes a bench and hooks for outdoor gear, muddy boots, and tools. The 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom house was designed with aging in place in mind, offering zero-threshold accessibility from the site to the garage and main floor, where all primary functions are located. The second floor primarily serves as guest quarters for adult children and future family members. The storage attic above the 2-car garage is planned for future conversion into a caretaker apartment or an extension of the second floor. The living, dining, and kitchen spaces occupy a high vaulted area with an exposed wood structure and cedar tongue-and-groove ceiling. The east facade’s continuous window wall, complete with an integrated bench seat and gas stove, makes the most of private territorial water views.



The building envelope is designed to minimize heating and cooling loads with assemblies that outperform those mandated by the Washington State Energy Code. The SIPS roof (Structurally Insulated Panel) and continuous exterior wall insulation (in addition to batt insulation within the walls) wrap the house in a blanket of insulation that minimizes thermal transfer. Windows and overhangs are strategically placed to balance daylighting with heat gain. Triple-glazed Unilux windows and doors, that conform to rigorous passive house standards, were used throughout. Main floor in-slab hydronic heating is provided by an air-to-water heat pump while heating/cooling for the upper floor is supplied by a ducted air-to-air heat pump. An 8.9kWh rooftop solar array on the adjacent barn puts the house within striking distance of net-zero depending on usage patterns.