The gently sloping site faces south with views of the lake and Seattle. This is a light-filled home that accommodates the needs of the owner’s growing family of five and allows them to entertain comfortably.


Stuart Silk Architects created a home with an open plan, featuring a centrally located two-storey living room at its heart. The kitchen and family room share the same open space and are immediately adjacent to the living room. On the second floor, an overlooking walkway is open to the living room and connects the bedrooms which flank either side of the living room. The 1,115-sq-metre home accommodates both intimate family gatherings as well as entertaining friends interactively.



Established in this dense residential neighbourhood, 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 façade and create a sculptural three-dimensionality to the scheme.



The exterior features two materials: brick for the ground floor, and cedar siding on the upper floor. On the south side, the house features as much glass as possible to maximise 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. In the living room, a nine- by three-metre high-performance glass window wall runs the entire length of the room. Each panel is operated electronically.



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 homes 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. The lower portions of the dark-stained wood columns in the entry and living room are wrapped in patinated steel, adding a layer of fine dependability and materiality. 



The living room fireplace picks up on this visual device, featuring steel below and painted plaster above. Furnishings are comfy and family friendly. Custom elements include built-ins, selected bedrooms, 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 as the light rakes the mosaic tile on the circular wall framing the bathtub. Access to the primary closet is directly through the bathroom with framed views of the skylight and bathtub. The closet doubles as a sitting room and an additional place to hang out while dressing.


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



location: Lake Washington, Laurelhurst, Seattle, Washington | architecture: Stuart Silk Architects | interior furnishings: Stuart Silk Architects | landscape architecture: Land Morphology | construction: Toth Construction | photography: Kevin Scott