Originally built in 1926, Capitol Hill Remodel is situated in the historic Harvard-Belmont neighborhood of Seattle. The primary goal for the selective remodel was to preserve functional conditions and the existing brick exterior while maximizing every opportunity offered by the home and site. The project served as a unique lesson in sustainability – forgoing a comprehensive tear-down build and instead opting for a series of small architectural interventions. These select improvements elevate the experience of the home and position it for ongoing vitality in its next century of use.
In the lower level, the owner wanted to avoid the sense of confinement found in a typical basement, instead creating a surprising architectural experience and connections to the landscape. To achieve this, the entire south wall was removed, replaced with a large window. This new exterior light well makes use of the building setback, bringing natural daylight into the subterranean level with a view to the historic retaining wall beyond. An added double-height stair connects the basement to the main floor of the home and features custom metal fabrication that stitches the two levels together.
Another key design goal was to open up the living room and main bedroom suite onto the garden courtyard. A central interior hallway was extended to form a vista that spans the length of the home, leading to the main bedroom suite. The new suite, designed with careful attention to architectural detailing, includes a narrow floor-to-ceiling “magic” window that aligns with the top of the custom headboard to offer views from the pillow to the exterior landscape.