The Madison Park House is the latest custom-spec house to be designed and built by architecture firm First Lamp, located in Seattle, Washington. Situated on an existing steep slope lot in the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle the house grows out of the hillside and allows the main living space to float out amongst the trees. This 3,200 square foot, five bedroom house will be an energy star certified residence and is targeted to be 4-star built green.
Daunting and stubborn while also inspiring, the site was our true client . A handful of landslides had occurred here in past years, so this tucked-away location had been ignored or avoided until recently. After a series of site visits with our “ground team” (engineers, excavator, and foundation subcontractors), we came to understand two things: 1) That development here would actually increase the stability of the site and 2) It would therefore be an asset to the surrounding landscape and community.
During the design process we often used a tree as a metaphor for our design goals:
1.Sensitively Integrate Structure with Landscape and topography
2.Stabilize the hillside with a deep root system
3.Reduce storm water impact to the site and its surroundings.
In many ways, the design response to these goals is very literal. 54 Pin piles, 5 helical anchors, and 110 yards of concrete support the structure and retain the hillside. These are consolidated to the smallest feasible footprint, allowing the topography to surround and envelop the trunk of the house. The main living space is cantilevered from this base much the same way the branches of a tree reach for the sun. The siding is almost 100% cedar, charred to more closely reflect the deep ambient color under a grove of mature trees. The house is topped with almost 2000 square feet of living roof which acts as a filter, a sponge, and an aesthetic amenity for the residents.
Photos: Courtesy of First Lamp
Seattle Box Remodel project is a full house remodel of a 1902 traditional home brought up to date by architecture studio Board and Vellum, located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. Crisp white trim and dark floors along with built-in cabinetry and special details really tie the whole home together. The brightly colored 3,300 square foot, five bedroom, four bathroom home helps contrast the dark Seattle days and works well with the adjacent homes which are also bright colors. Landscaping is a future project.
Seattle “Box” homes are prized for their stately appearance and generous floor plans. What isn’t often provided though is an easy way to convert these older homes into homes with generous and open living spaces. This project keeps the formal nature of the ‘three in a row’ formal rooms and opens the back of the house and the final room to the kitchen. An operable wall of glass helps connect the house to the yard and let light pour into the home. A centrally placed fireplace is viewable from all the main rooms in the house and helps anchor the entire plan. A wide galley kitchen opens towards the back of the house with an island facing the new family room. Careful design of the casework provides a clean and contemporary look while not looking out of place in a 1902 home.
A cozy front porch allows for a spot to watch the birds at the feeder.
The cozy front porch has a built-in ceiling heater to help socializing in the cool evenings.
The house borders a commercial district, so the owners felt they had a little more leeway to do something exuberant. The exterior is now painted in Benjamin Moore’s Douglas Fir, with Benjamin Moore’s Blushing Red for trim. After seeing the exuberant colors of the house next door, the architect saw this as an opportunity to turn the row into Seattle’s own version of San Francisco’s Painted Ladies.
A dutch entry door provides the option to have fresh air without dogs or children escaping out!
The Family Room has very tall ceilings so white wainscoting was used to visually lower the height of the room when seated around the new gas fireplace. Clean white display accents provide contrast without too much visual clutter.
The Family Room opens up to the Kitchen and a folding door out to the yard.
The Dining Room offsets the table into the bay windows to allow open circulation between the three main rooms.
A mid-century inspired light and bright colors help create a soothing color palette.
A custom dog crate lives behind this door which slides up on one side and opens on the other.
A custom dog crate lives here below a pantry and open shelves to the right allowing the dogs to look out in both directions.
The kitchen has a folding wall which opens to the small backyard.
The kitchen island serves as a buffer between the open Kitchen and Family Room.
Open shelves keep cookbooks and everyday tableware close at hand.
A custom library ladder works in the Kitchen and also the Living Room.
A recess in the island provides for a handy spot for the dog’s water bowl. A tip out cabinet above stores the dog food.
A simple and clean Laundry Room efficiently everything you need in a small footprint.
A small Powder Room is brightened by wallpaper and cleanly detailed walnut sink and mirror.
The Living, Dining, and Family Rooms open into each other and are trimmed by bright white trim for a fresh and dramatic appearance.
The upstairs hallway uses clean white trim to tie everything together.
Home Office uses walnut furniture to contrast with the blue walls.
The entrance to the Master Suite is painted all in white and detailed with crisp white trim.
Two smaller bedrooms were combined to create a generous Master Suite with a dressing area and built-in closets.
A custom magazine rack allows for storage in the Master’s Toilet Room.
Custom walnut vanity sits next to a wall of white Thassos marble and a double shower.
In the children’s bedroom, two doors were tied together with a built-in dresser and mirror.
Dubbed the Lego Lounge, the basement includes a bar, a media room, laundry, storage and a guest bedroom. The basement was completely renovated with ceilings that were only 6½ feet high. What’s more, you originally had to walk through a coat closet to access the basement stairs. The architect excavated the basement another 2½ feet, ending up with 9-foot ceilings and an inviting lair where the couple can entertain friends without disturbing their son when he’s sleeping in his bedroom two stories up. Although it can be a hassle lowering a basement floor the way the architect did, he ended up with an extra floor of living space without having to expand the home’s shell.
The basement bar uses space that would otherwise be empty square footage. A custom bar aligns with the stair treads and is the same wood and finish as the floors upstairs.
The custom bar uses every square foot to maximize entertaining. In the LEGO room beyond a custom table sits below the work area which can slide out and double the work space.
This bathroom features large scale glass tile in a more traditional subway pattern.
This traditional style bathroom uses White Thassos marble in a subway pattern along with white wainscoting to create a clean and fresh look.
The basement bedroom only has color on one wall to keep the focus on the bright white walls and trim to help brighten the basement space. A large window well helps reduce the stigma of high up basement windows.
Photos: John Wilbanks Photography
Prospect House is a result of celebrating a stunning Seattle panorama while accommodating a modest budget and a family with two young children, designed by Janof Architecture. The 5,663 square foot house honors the owner’s desire for a domestic refuge while maximizing the experience of its location.
We began with the domestic, and planted two gabled, bearing-wall “houses” deep into the hillside. These contain rooms requiring enclosure, and they give the house the conventional street facade that the neighborhood deserves. The steel-framed “glass box” occupies the view facade and sews the houses together. These simple parts, simply combined, create complex social and spatial relationships within the house.
The budget required basic construction using off-the-shelf parts. Rigorous but un-precious detailing followed. The greatest technical effort went into the design of the two-story window wall: residential wood windows assembled as a true curtain wall. The 19-foot-high dining room was designed for extraordinary nighttime views of the city.
The kitchen is a warm and functional space that utilizes custom walnut cabinetry, stainless steel, and extra-thick calacatta marble.
The breakfast area adjacent to the kitchen has an eclectic feel and commanding views of the city. The mural was created by the owners specifically for the space.
The delightful powder room of this house gets its charm from custom wallpaper designed by the owners.
The master bedroom has a top-of-the-world view that is made cozy by the inclusion of a fireplace and subtly concealed lighting.
The elegant master bath features callacatta carrera marble and polished nickel fittings.
The home office has a spectacular view; light is further introduced by the small dormer window above the desk.
The energy efficiency of the house was designed around the passive use of its southern orientation, with high-performance glass, cross-ventilating windows, and precisely calculated overhangs making air conditioning unnecessary this summer. The winter sun will bring warmth deep into the house, and the industrial-size fan above the dining room is designed to slowly move air throughout the house.
Sustainability was a constant topic. While the house meets Energy Star rating, much thought went into what sustainability really means. There is no bravura use of natural resources. Structural elements are sized at their calculated minimums. Precious materials were used sparingly, often where they would be touched by the user, and salvaged material was valued for its patina.
Photos: Benjamin Benschneider
Laurelhurst Residence is a remodel and addition to an existing 1960’s mid-century modern classic designed by Coop 15 Architecture in conjunction with Robin Chell Design, located in Seattle, Washington. The clients were looking for a design that would retain the formal living space at the front of the house, but open up the rear of the house to their expansive garden. In other words, transform the house according to the American mullet-credo of all formal in the front with a party in the back.
Massive glass sliding doors in the rear now allow the party to flow seamlessly from inside to out, while the spirit of the original formal living room and signature vaulted ceiling were retained.
With a goal of maximizing light and space, the design scheme emphasized the integrity of the mid-century modern structure while updating the furnishings with durable and natural materials. Included in this 2650-square foot remodel was the reupholstering and refurbishing of an inherited collection of period furniture. The resulting design successfully integrated the existing furniture while freshening the interior with new pieces.
A second floor was added to accommodate the private bedrooms and bath previously crowded into the rear of the main floor. The second floor volume is perched onto the rear of the house, cantilevering over the back garden to create a covered porch and remaining hidden from the street view, thus preserving the original public facade.
Photos: Daniel Sheehan Photography
This stunning 1960s home remodel was carried out by Brandt Design in collaboration with Dyna Contracting, is situated in the residential gated community of Broadmoor, in Seattle, Washington. The house had several existing strengths in structure and design to help support the renovation. The design team narrowed in on key elements to improve the residence’s overall style and livability. The change that made the single biggest impact involved the entryway. By installing a front door with reed glass to let in more light, replacing a solid half-wall with a custom steel and walnut rail and altering a central fireplace, main sightlines were completely opened up showcasing a striking mahogany ceiling and inviting backyard patio.
Other main level changes included installing a more spacious and luxurious master bath; two bedrooms re-purposed as a music room and office; and an updated powder room. Additions to the lower level included a fully equipped laundry room, wine cellar, and guest suite. To increase efficiencies, the home was also rewired and re-plumbed. The result is an incisive remodel that maximizes every dollar spent toward a more pleasing, convenient, and integrated whole.
Photos: Aaron Leitz Fine Photography
Sunrise Vista is a contemporary renovation by Coop 15 Architecture to create a new and spacious family home, situated in the Sand Point Country Club community of Seattle, Washington. This project was the renovation of a structurally sound 1950’s home. The owners sought to capture views of mountains and lake with a new second story, along with a complete rethinking of the plan.
Basement walls and three fireplaces were saved, along with the main floor deck. The new second story provides a master suite, and professional home office for him. A small office for her is on the main floor, near three children’s bedrooms. The oldest daughter is in college; her room also functions as a guest bedroom.
A second guest room, plus another bath, is in the lower level, along with a media/playroom and an exercise room. The original carport is down there, too, and just inside there is room for the family to remove shoes, hang up coats, and drop their stuff.
The focal point of the home is the flowing living/dining/family/kitchen/terrace area. The living room may be separated via a large rolling door. Pocketing, sliding glass doors open the family and dining area to the terrace, with the original outdoor fireplace/barbeque. When slid into adjacent wall pockets, the combined opening is 28 feet wide.
The design is primarily about the plan, and therefore about the people who live in the home. The palette of materials—original Roman brick, fiber-cement planks, bamboo composite decking, PVC roof (most of it is a green roof), and aluminum windows and doors were selected for minimal maintenance and a restrained aesthetic.
In the great room, sliding, pocketing doors disappear into walls, creating a 28 foot opening to a private, intimately scaled courtyard with the original fireplace and a translucent roof, encouraging outdoor living.
The second story roofline of the master suite tilts up to the sunrise. Other roofs are completely “green” and maintain a low profile.
Photos: Courtesy of Coop 15 Architecture
Phinney Ridge Modern is a home built on what was considered an unbuildable lot of 5,029 square feet, situated in Phinney Ridge, a neighborhood in north central Seattle, Washington. Built in 2010, this 2,510 square foot property takes advantage of the difficult topography and maximizes the views from all floors. The three bedroom, three bathroom home features tall ceilings on every floor and a full rooftop deck with expansive views. The upper floor features an open kitchen nestled between a play room on one end of the floor and a living room on the other. There’s easy access to the both indoor and outdoor dining rooms.
This fabulous home has been listed for sale at an undisclosed sum on Surefield.
This waterfront mid-century modern home features spectacular mountain and lake views, situated in Issaquah, Washington, a suburb east of Seattle. This house was custom built read more
Water is a constant presence throughout this Washington Park Hilltop Residence by Stuart Silk Architects, set on a bluff in Seattle overlooking Lake Washington. Views of the vast lake, Mt. Rainier and North Cascades dictated the orientation and transparency of the elevation facing the water. A plan then evolved to integrate water features into the home, to be experienced from inside and out.
An unequal-sided “H” plan places the entry, living and dining areas in a central pavilion, while flanking wings contain the family’s private rooms. The passages to the wings are compressed between gently moving water courses inspired by the canals of Suzhou and Venice. These serve not only as ever-present reminders of the beauty of water, but also the nature of passage through life as one navigates across the home’s interior and exterior spaces. The alignment of the canals also focuses the building’s orientation toward the views.
The mood of the house is quietly contemporary. The clients sought a quality of architecture that would outlive passing trends. They were also vitally concerned with the home’s sustainability; the architects incorporated many options that contribute to the projects durability and efficiency. Some examples include a green roof, gray water collection system, and solar panels for water heating.
Though the building is geometrically simple, it offers a rich juxtaposition of solidity, transparency, and liquid movement.
Photos: Rob Perry Photography
Lake Washington Residence is a newly built two story single family home over an existing foundation by BAAN Design in the Mount Baker neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. The existing site is located on an upland waterfront lot near Genesee Park on Lake Washington Blvd S with expansive views to the east, over the lake. The foundation of the existing one story house is re-used in order to maintain and extend the non-conforming footprint and lot coverage. The geometry of the front facade is dictated primarily by the view potential offered by the site and the massing is stepped back at second level to maintain conformance to current zoning setback requirements.
The primary interior spaces are designed to relate specifically to the water views to the east and to the more intimate and enclosed privacy of the backyard.
The interior living space is comprised of 3,500 square feet.
While sitting in the rear yard, one can experience the lake views through the glazed doors and glass along the east and west sides of living areas. The roof structure is constructed of exposed double 2×6 rafters with T&G decking above, and the exterior is cladded in pre-stained, tight-knot cedar siding.
The windows and doors are thermally broken aluminum, with custom double hinged pivot wood doors located at the front entrance. The floors are polished gypcrete over an in-floor radiant heat system and the built-in cabinetry is dark stained, rift oak.
View of back patio into living room and lake beyond.
Photos: Ben Benschneider
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