This Lake Washington waterfront home designed by Stuart Silk Architects is situated on a tranquil tree-lined property in the Washington Park neighborhood of Seattle. It enjoys sweeping views of Mt. Rainier and the Cascade Mountains. The site borders a heavily landscaped street end, which provides a privacy buffer from the adjoining property to the south. The neighborhood includes both traditional homes from the first half of the last century and several recently built modern homes. Photography by Aaron Leitz
The clients share an appreciation of traditional and contemporary architecture and wanted their new home to capture aspects of both. The design merges these divergent sensibilities into its own distinctive expression. Inspired by several traditional homes nearby, a gabled roof was selected as the starting point for design. A traditional form, the gabled house serves for many as the definitive image of home.
To create a fresh, contemporary look, familiar details often associated with traditional homes, such as overhanging eaves, were stripped away and minimized and replaced with modern materials, including painted steel windows and zinc roofing. The steep, twelve-and-twelve pitch of the main gable and dormer over the garage tie the house to traditional while ensuring its distinctive presence. Instead of small-scale individual windows, expansive two-story windows were used, which offer wonderful south and east light and views of the lake and surrounding landscape and contribute to the contemporary aesthetic. The exterior of the 5,356-square-foot house in white-painted wood siding with horizontal grooves separating each board, a subtle nod to traditional clapboard homes in the neighborhood.
Inside, the material palette is purposefully minimal and defined by softly stained, white rift oak used for ceilings, floors, and cabinetry; hand-finished metal detailing; and troweled plaster walls, combining to create a simple, warm living environment. Unique details in burnished metal were integrated throughout the home and include the pivoting twelve-foot-tall front door with a sinuous metal door pull. Set within the entry is a dramatic, ultra-thin profile, floating stairway system that features an embedded handrail. Metal details work their way into other elements such as the blackened metal edging the stone fireplace surround, or the pulley operated sliding mirrors in the master bathroom. These custom elements, among others, provide a secondary level of detail and reinforce the home’s contemporary sensibilities. Merging modern and traditional sensibilities, while reinterpreting traditional motifs through a modern lens, the house captures an innate sense of place, making the best possible use of our magical light and spectacular landscape.
Architecture: Stuart Silk Architects
Interiors: Amy Baker Interior Design
Landscaping: Land Morphology