Stuart Silk Architects designed this smooth Seattle-Washington home that is all about water, inside and out. From its hilltop location overlooking Lake Washington, to the integrated water features that become the fabulous focus of this home, the house takes a cue from its aquatic inspiration. Even its easygoing layout is reminiscent of water, carrying you through the house.
The home’s glass walls echo the lightness of its muse. The views of the lake, Mt. Rainier and North Cascades were carefully considered when the architects chose the orientation, materials and layout.
“Located directly above Lake Washington this rigorously detailed home responds to the site and the context of this historical neighborhood through the use of a rich palette of materials including a white-veined grey quartzite, metal roofs, and wood paneling,” according to the architects. “While the design is decidedly contemporary, the materials provide a sense of warmth and timelessness.”
Artful illumination inside and out transforms this house into a lantern-like structure, warmly glowing through its expansive glazing. Windows dot the home’s facade, taking shape as full glass walls and clerestory windows that flood interiors with natural light.
Through the glass, views of the manicured lawns and gardens offer a lush outlook to the modern yet earthy interiors.
The main entry to the home is placed at the center of the H-shaped plan. This single-storey volume leads into the front foyer and public spaces of the house – an open living and dining area conducive to socialization. The central volume is flanked by a pair of private wings taking their place on either side.
As you move from the public to the private pavilions, a water feature welcomes you into each wing, inspired by the canals of Suzhou and Venice.
A heavy wood door welcomes you into a warm, earthy interior which the architects describe as “quietly contemporary.”
The design steers clear of trends and rather opts for a timeless aesthetic that will never go out of style. A striking fireplace divides this open concept space without blocking it off entirely from the rest of the home. This massive fireplace feature is balanced by barely-there glass walls, which add a lightness to the design.
Visible past the flickering flames through the two-faced fireplace, a dining area on the other side provides an intimate spot for family dinners and parties late into the night.
The home’s simple floor plan is enhanced by a blend of rich interior elements and complex layering of materials – wood on steel on stone on glass. Organic yet refined, this natural palette solidifies the home’s connection to its surroundings.
Built-in elements add architectural interest with an artistic edge. This integrated room divider echoes the fireplace in its material, separates the dining area from the hallway and creates a visible display nook for the homeowners’ artwork.
The dark, dramatic wood floors and cabinets seem to melt into each other in this kitchen, while the marble island, countertops and backsplash make a bright white contrast, bringing balance to the look and feel.
The center island features a built-in rustic wood tabletop – ideal for casual meals on the go, or for extra prep space. The wood top ties in with the wood floors, which extend into the adjoining living area.
The hallway is the spine of the home from which principal rooms branch off. Lined with exposed steel columns on one side, and a stone tiled on the other, extending from the floor right up to the second level.
The bulky wood stairs are given a lighter edge with a glass balustrade enclosure and topped with a long skylight running from the front wall to the rear.
We love this cool little industrial-chic element at the base of the stairs, complementary to the exposed steel beams.
At the top of the stairs, you find yourself at the end of an upper loft hallway, lined with books and glass on one end, a glass railing overlooking the stairwell, and the glass roof overhead.
Framed by the home’s extensive windows, the views invite a bit of the outdoors in. And doing its part to keep this environment clean and green, the architects incorporated a number of eco-friendly systems including a green roof, gray water collection system, and solar panels for water heating.
Stuart Silk Architects