Photographer: Aaron Leitz

Lake Cove Residence by Stuart Silk Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Aaron Leitz

Lake Cove Residence by Stuart Silk Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Aaron Leitz

Lake Cove Residence by Stuart Silk Architects | Detached houses ×

The site for this Lake Washington waterfront home is 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 property borders a heavily landscaped street end, which provides a privacy buffer from the adjoining property to the south. The established neighborhood has both traditional homes from the first half of the last century and several recently built modern homes.

Our clients share an appreciation of traditional and contemporary architecture and wanted their new home to capture aspects of both. We merged these divergent sensibilities into its own distinctive expression. Inspired by several traditional homes nearby, we landed on the image of the gabled house as our starting point—an archetypal style that for stands for many of our earliest and strongest memories of home. The steep, twelve-and-twelve pitch of the main gable and dormer over the garage give this design its distinctive presence.

To create a fresh, contemporary feel we stripped away familiar details that we associate with traditional homes, such as overhanging eaves, to their bare essentials and used modern materials, including painted steel windows and zinc roofing. Instead of individual punched openings often associated with traditional homes we chose expansive two-story bay windows, which provide wonderful south and east light and views of the lake and surrounding landscape. We clad the 5,356-square-foot house in white painted wood siding with horizontal grooves separating each board, recalling other 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.

Design Team:

Architecture: Stuart Silk Architects

Interiors: Amy Baker Interior Design
Landscaping: Land Morphology
Construction: Schultz-Miller

Photographer: Aaron Leitz

Lake Cove Residence by Stuart Silk Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Aaron Leitz

Lake Cove Residence by Stuart Silk Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Aaron Leitz

Lake Cove Residence by Stuart Silk Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Aaron Leitz

Lake Cove Residence by Stuart Silk Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Aaron Leitz

Lake Cove Residence by Stuart Silk Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Aaron Leitz

Lake Cove Residence by Stuart Silk Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Aaron Leitz

Lake Cove Residence by Stuart Silk Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Aaron Leitz

Lake Cove Residence by Stuart Silk Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Aaron Leitz

Lake Cove Residence by Stuart Silk Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Aaron Leitz

Lake Cove Residence by Stuart Silk Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Aaron Leitz

Lake Cove Residence by Stuart Silk Architects | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Aaron Leitz

Lake Cove Residence by Stuart Silk Architects | Detached houses ×