Heliotrope Architects

Dovetail in the News: Filson featured in Metropolis


Filson's new flagship featured in Metropolis magazine's February 2016 issue. 

We put the finishing touches on Filson’s new flagship store in SoDo just in time for the holiday season. Designed by Heliotrope Architects, the new 6,500 square-foot retail space is located in a former machinist warehouse, which also houses Filson’s corporate headquarters and manufacturing.  

Alex Carlton, Filson's creative director, drove the conceptual design. “Defining the flagship space began by looking at the Filson brand – a Seattle-based company with 118 years of history that needed to embody the spirit of the Pacific Northwest. The experience in the space needed to be one of discovery and exploration.” Carlton continues, “Ultimately, the most important concept was the craftsmanship. We wanted the store to have the same level of quality and integrity as our product.”

Filson's new flagship store. Photo:  Lara Swimmer

Filson's new flagship store. Photo: Lara Swimmer

The store uses heavy trim, dark colors, and burnt wood. The building’s exterior is painted charcoal black, with new Quantum warehouse-style windows. The massive front doors act as a focal point for the facade. Designed and built in Dovetail’s wood shop, the barn doors are made of reclaimed wine vats of Redwood that are burned dark and hand oiled. Blacksmith Darryl Nelson created the door handles - 55 pound Silicon Bronze pulls forged into the shape of a wolf’s head.

In the foyer stands a 19 foot tall cubist totem hand carved out of a single cedar tree by artist Aleph Geddis. Walls of glass windows afford views into Filson’s bag manufacturing department. A metal stairwell wraps around the cubist totem, taking visitors up to the retail store on the second floor. The stairs are retrofitted with a custom guardrail of hot-rolled steel fabricated by longstanding Dovetail partners, Architectural Elements.

“Visitors arrive at the sales floor with its cathedral ceiling, exposed steel trusses and long axial orientation,” explains architect Mike Mora. “Because the main space is so big,” he continues, “the architecture had to be scaled up: big cabinets, big salvaged timbers, big fireplace.” O.B. Williams made all the casework. The walls are covered in heavy black wainscoting and burnt cedar barn boards. Sourced from Duluth Timber and fabricated by Cascade Joinery, a tremendous custom timber trellis made of reclaimed Doug fir creates an anchor in the middle of the store.

Custom fireplace with elements fabricated by Dovetail's metal shop. Photo:  Lara Swimmer

Custom fireplace with elements fabricated by Dovetail's metal shop. Photo: Lara Swimmer

Dovetail’s principal Scott Edwards comments that, “We’ve built a showcase of some of the greatest efforts of craftspeople in our region, but ultimately it’s about the relationships we’ve built around our collective commitment to authenticity, craft, and the history of the space.”

Checkout the February 2016 issue of Metropolis to read more about Filson’s new flagship store. 

Dovetail Celebrates 25 Years of Exceptional Building

In 2016, Dovetail celebrates 25 years of building meaningful and memorable projects that define the character of the Northwest’s built environment. Since 1991, Dovetail has been crafting fine residential and commercial buildings throughout the Puget Sound with a hallmark of quality, sustainability, and a commitment to lasting relationships. We specialize in custom, bespoke, architectural projects with both a wood and metal shop to support custom designs.

We have grown from a high-end residential builder specializing in traditional craftsmanship and fine finish carpentry to a contractor with a reputation for exquisite contemporary detailing and finishes. Over the years we have worked with inspirational architecture firms such as Olson Kundig, Suyama Peterson Deguchi, Heliotrope Architects, MW Works, Graham Baba Architects, and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson among others. Additionally, as word spread of our commitment to quality and our collaborative working process, developers and restaurateurs began turning to us for their special commercial projects. Dovetail is trusted to capture the soul of a commercial space with the same care and craft we bring to our residential buildings. As the size and complexity of our residential work has grown, so too has our commercial work: large, multi-story adaptive reuse projects; tenant improvements of cultural landmarks; and new construction of boutique multi-story mixed use buildings. Along the way we have won AIA awards for both our residential and commercial work.

Below are some highlights from our last 25 years.

Madison Park Residence (net-zero energy home): Jim Olson, Olson Kundig, photo: Jill Hardy

Madison Park Residence (net-zero energy home): Jim Olson, Olson Kundig, photo: Jill Hardy

Artist in Residence Home: Heliotrope Architects, photo: Jill Hardy

Artist in Residence Home: Heliotrope Architects, photo: Jill Hardy

Blaine Stairs: Mithun + Dovetail, photo: Lara Swimmer

Blaine Stairs: Mithun + Dovetail, photo: Lara Swimmer

Tansu House: Tom Kundig, Olson Kundig, AIA Commendation Award, photo: Michael Burns 

Tansu House: Tom Kundig, Olson Kundig, AIA Commendation Award, photo: Michael Burns 

Medina Residence: Rocky Rochon Desigh + SKB Architects, photo: Mark Woods

Medina Residence: Rocky Rochon Desigh + SKB Architects, photo: Mark Woods

Magnolia Residence: Rohleder Borges Architecture, photo: Benjamin Benschneider

Magnolia Residence: Rohleder Borges Architecture, photo: Benjamin Benschneider

In 2015, Dovetail opened our metal shop to fabricate custom designs, such as this galvanized downspout. Photo: Jill Hardy

In 2015, Dovetail opened our metal shop to fabricate custom designs, such as this galvanized downspout. Photo: Jill Hardy

Dovetail's wood shop continues to produce custom designs such as doors, cabinets, kitchens, soaking tubs, and more. The doors here are fabricated out of reclaimed redwood that was then burned and oiled. Photo: Lara Swimmer

Dovetail's wood shop continues to produce custom designs such as doors, cabinets, kitchens, soaking tubs, and more. The doors here are fabricated out of reclaimed redwood that was then burned and oiled. Photo: Lara Swimmer

Filson Flagship Store: Heliotrope Architects, photo: Lara Swimmer

Filson Flagship Store: Heliotrope Architects, photo: Lara Swimmer

Fremont Collective (adaptive reuse project): Heliotrope Architects + Graham Baba (shell & core), photo: Aaron Leitz 

Fremont Collective (adaptive reuse project): Heliotrope Architects + Graham Baba (shell & core), photo: Aaron Leitz 

The Whale Wins: Heliotrope Architects, photo: Aaron Leitz

The Whale Wins: Heliotrope Architects, photo: Aaron Leitz

Miller's Guild: Graham Baba Architects, photo: Lara Swimmer

Miller's Guild: Graham Baba Architects, photo: Lara Swimmer

London Plane and Little London Plane: Dovetail, photo: Lara Swimmer

London Plane and Little London Plane: Dovetail, photo: Lara Swimmer

The Studios Performing Arts Center: Graham Baba Architects, photo: Lara Swimmer

The Studios Performing Arts Center: Graham Baba Architects, photo: Lara Swimmer

Q Nightclub: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, photo: Jeremy Bitterman

Q Nightclub: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, photo: Jeremy Bitterman

Rock Box: MW Works, AIA Award, photo: Benjamin Benschneider

Rock Box: MW Works, AIA Award, photo: Benjamin Benschneider

As we look back over the years we would like to thank you. Thank you for your big dreams, inspiring designs and beautiful visions. Thank you for being such active and passionate collaborators – ultimately together we create the best possible outcome. Additionally, thank you for your commitment to the future of our planet. Together we’ve built net-zero energy homes, Built-Green projects, sustainable structures that divert rainwater into backyard rain gardens, and utilized Living Building products. Lastly, we are deeply thankful for an incredibly talented team of carpenters, superintendents, project managers and support staff that are dedicated to their craft as well as visionary designs.  

Looking toward the next 25 years, we are invigorated by the future of building: urbanism and the renaissance of cities; smart and elegant multi-family design solutions; increasing mobility and public transit; innovation in design such biomimicry, smart buildings, buildings that will self-heal, produce energy and food; and once again you. We’re so excited to see what you dream of and dream up in the next 25 years and we can’t wait to begin building it.  

 

The Art of Building: Part 1


The framing stage of building a new home, design by Heliotrope Architects. Photo: Jill Hardy

The framing stage of building a new home, design by Heliotrope Architects. Photo: Jill Hardy

What is the process of building a new home? How do we go from architectural designs to a completed work of art? For those interested in building a new home, we've simplified the process by highlighting major construction milestones, and we take you on a visual tour of a house we're building in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. Designed by Heliotrope Architects, the front facade of the house features a prominent "floating gable." Read on to learn about the beginning stages of building a new home. 


EXCAVATION

Excavation allows for utilities to be buried. Photo: Duane Robinson

Excavation allows for utilities to be buried. Photo: Duane Robinson

The first step in building a new home is to excavate the site. Excavating, or removing soil, serves several purposes: it levels the site; allows for below grade utilities to be laid, such as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing; and prepares the ground for pouring the foundation. Above, one of the main plumbing lines, the side sewer, is installed. 


FOUNDATION FOOTINGS

The concrete foundation footings of a new home. 

After excavating, laying subgrade utilities, and leveling the site, trenches are dug for pouring the foundation footings. Constructed of concrete and reinforced with rebar, footings support the weight of the house and prevent it from settling. If a house is a like a sculpture, the footings are like the platform on which it sits. The size and type of structure determines the depth, width, and placement of footings. In the photo above the footings have rebar protruding through the concrete, anticipating the next phase of construction, pouring the foundation walls. 


FOUNDATION WALLS AND WATERPROOFING

Foundation walls wrapped in waterproof fabric. 

Foundation walls wrapped in waterproof fabric. 

Next, the foundation walls are poured. The foundation walls transfer the load of the house to the ground. They also act as a barrier between the wood of the house and the soil of the earth. The oldest and simplest foundation walls were constructed using large stones. In contemporary building, foundation materials have advanced dramatically, but the concept remains the same. 

After foundation walls have cured, the exterior walls themselves need to be waterproofed in order to prevent water from seeping through the concrete. Above, a skirt of drain board waterproof fabric is applied to the exterior foundation walls, which protects the foundation from water. 


BACK-FILLING AND LEVELING THE SITE

The foundation walls, once exposed for waterproofing, now just peak up above the ground. 

All the exterior utility lines are laid and the foundation walls are constructed and waterproofed, then soil is brought in to bury the utilities and grade the site. An incredible amount of work and infrastructure becomes hidden beneath ground. 


HYDRONIC HEATING SYSTEM 

Vapor barrier, insulation, and radiant heating tubes are installed before the foundation slab is poured. 

Vapor barrier, insulation, and radiant heating tubes are installed before the foundation slab is poured. 

This home has a hydronic system for radiant floor heating, which is highly energy efficient. Above, the tubing is installed over insulation, which prevents heat-loss toward the ground. Because concrete conducts heat well, a concrete slab is then poured on top of this hydronic tubing. 


FRAMING

Framing is the next step in the building process. Here studs and headers form walls, ceilings, windows, and doorways. Then, the frame of the house is bolted to the foundation. Framing provides the structure to support the form of the house, it also creates an armature for the network of electrical and plumbing utilities to come. 


SHEATHING

Plywood panels attached to the framing sheathes the house.  

The plywood panels applied to the outer framing of the house are called sheathing. Sheathing strengthens the structure and serves as a base for exterior weatherproof siding. In the Pacific Northwest, an earthquake region, sheathing stabilizes the structure and helps prevent sheer forces from pushing and pulling the house in opposite directions. 


FRAMING THE ROOF

Cathedral ceiling with framed skylights.  

After the sheathing is applied, framing the roof begins. Above, manufactured trusses create the vaulted ceiling and the roof line simultaneously. Modified trusses are erected where skylights occur. 


ROOFING

The roofing stage. 

The roofing stage. 

The design of this house calls for two different kinds of roofs. On the left is a "flat roof" (actually, it has a slight slope to prevent standing water), and the right side is a pitched shingle roof. The main role of the roof is to prevent water from entering the house. The roof is also part of the "building envelope" or the physical barrier that separates a building from water, air, and heat. The Northwest is known for its wet winters and the roof is an important element in the overall waterproofing system. 

Waterproofing itself is a crucial and complex part of building, and the next post will focus solely on the various steps in the waterproofing process.