© benjamin benschneider

Northwest Art House // Olson Kundig

Seattle, WA, United States

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An interest in community and a love of art defines this couple and their Lake Washington home. Avid art patrons, the clients requested that their extensive collection of glass, sculptural and two-dimensional art by Northwest masters inspire the home’s design. The collection takes center stage and fills the home. The main floor is organized by a long spine from which the living, dining, family and kitchen areas flow.

© Aaron Leitz

© Aaron Leitz

© benjamin benschneider

© benjamin benschneider

Art also links the indoors and outdoors, as exterior sculptures and custom glass pieces that delineate the home’s entrance draw visitors inside, through the home and to the waterfront terrace and lawn on the other side. Expansive windows throughout the home offer sweeping views of Lake Washington from the inside while also framing exterior views of the artwork within.

© benjamin benschneider

© benjamin benschneider

© Aaron Leitz

© Aaron Leitz

This transparency between inside and outside creates a sense of openness and unity that balances the couple’s densely displayed art collection with nature, lake and sky.

The architectural program also met the owners’ generous request that the 10,000-square-foot home be oriented so as to preserve a view corridor to Lake Washington for their closest neighbors.

© Aaron Leitz

© Aaron Leitz

© Aaron Leitz

© Aaron Leitz

The resulting perpendicular orientation of the home resulted in an outdoor open space plan that includes a cabana building with showers and an orchid hothouse, a covered wood-fired pizza oven and open-air cooking space, and a garden providing both food-bearing and flowering plants that enliven the landscape. A green roof with sedum and rooftop solar panels continue the clients’ environmental concern.

“The owners were quite generous with the design of their home – they built it for themselves, but also to support the larger art community of which they are a part.” –Jim Olson, Design Principal.

A dedication to sharing their art with other collectors and artists motivated the couple to incorporate flexible features throughout the home for entertaining, including sliding panels for closing off private areas and emphasizing the central art corridor where guests can linger during gatherings.

© Olson Kundig

© Olson Kundig

© benjamin benschneider

© benjamin benschneider

The main floor of the home primarily consists of spaces for family and guests, while bedrooms and small living spaces are located above. The result is a home perfectly suited to the owners and their personal collection, but adaptable enough to accommodate changing uses for friends, family and the Northwest arts community.“The expansiveness of the views and the proximity to Lake Washington make the home feel almost like a houseboat floating on the water.” –Jim Olson.Project Team: Jim Olson, FAIA, Design Principal; William Franklin, Project Manager and Project Architect; Naho Ukeda and Crystal Coleman, LEED® AP, Architectural Staff; Charlie Hellstern, Interior Design; Cristina Acevedo and Irina Bokova, Interiors StaffContractor: Schultz MillerPhotos: Benjamin Benschneider, Aaron Leitz.

© Aaron Leitz

© Aaron Leitz

© Aaron Leitz

© Aaron Leitz

Northwest Art House Gallery

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