Located on Lake Washington in Seattle, this new house was built on a gently sloping site, facing south with lake views and territorial views of the city. The homeowners wished to create a light-filled, lake house that would accommodate the needs of their growing family of five. Plus, they wanted a place that would allow them to accommodate both intimate family gatherings and entertaining larger groups.

In response, Stuart Silk Architects created a 12,000-square-foot home with an open plan featuring a centrally located two-story living room at its heart.

In the living room, a 30-foot by 10-foot tall high-performance glass window wall runs the entire length of the room. Each panel is operated electronically for ease of use.

Immediately adjacent to the living room, the kitchen and family room share the same open space. On the second floor, an overlooking walkway is open to the living room and connects the bedrooms.

Because this home is in an established, dense residential neighborhood, the design limits the amount of glass facing the street side to provide privacy. Concerned about a blank wall with too few windows, two wood-clad bays were introduced to modulate the facade and create a sculptural three-dimensionality to the home. The exterior features two materials: brick for the ground floor and cedar siding on the upper floor. 

Conversely, on the south side, the house features as much glass as possible to maximize the panoramic views of Mt. Rainier to the south and the Olympic mountains to the west. The window system was selected for its ability to span long distances with minimal framework to ensure visibility. 

Inside, the central stairway forms a sculpture-like floating ribbon and connects the upper bedroom level and the lower floor containing the entertainment, media, and playroom which spill out to a large terrace with swimming pool and spa. The rails are clad in dark stained oak while the treads and risers are dark marble.

The interior aesthetic is precise and tailored. The home’s structural grid is partially revealed inside the home, helping to define and articulate spaces. Materials are earthy, with tones recalling beach sand and the forest floor.

Furnishings are comfy and family friendly. Custom elements include built-ins and occasional furnishings. Comfort is assured via radiant heating which runs powered by an environmentally efficient geothermal system.

In the primary bathroom, a deep cone-shaped oculus is centered over the floating bathtub to create a dramatic effect. Access to the primary closet is directly through the bathroom with framed views of the skylight and bathtub. 

Outside, the terracing of the yard on the lakeside of the house provides much-needed play areas for the kids. A path to the lake and a new cove were designed for easy access to the shoreline and to enhance the shoreline in support of salmon habitat.

Project team
Architecture: Stuart Silk Architects
Interior Furnishings: Stuart Silk Architects
Landscape Architecture: Land Morphology
Construction: Toth Construction
Photography: Kevin Scott