Framing existing conditions as opportunities, the team created a coherent family compound on the shores of Lake Washington in which an old and new structure speak to one another and the surrounding landscape.
The main house is integrated into its waterfront setting with the addition of Black Pine Cabin, a separate space for guests and storage. To create room for the new structure, the team demolished an existing carport/garden shed and covered walkway, intentionally setting the cabin apart from the main house to create a connection from the entry to the lake, with the landscape becoming a space that joins them together.
Honoring the history and sound construction of the home, the owners decided to remodel rather than demolish, requesting an upgrade to the facade, reinforcement of retaining walls, and a general clean-up of the property’s dated design elements. The team’s initial design moves happened on the main level. Replacing a lanai with a dining room facing Mt. Rainier, the team removed all interior walls to create an open living, kitchen, and dining area where the visual connection to the lake is emphasized. Organized around a large, central island aligned with the dining room, the main floor plan allows for free flow of circulation and living throughout. The team added new decks to extend living space outdoors, an elevated perch from which to enjoy the view and survey the landscape. Making small changes to existing walls and plumbing locations, the team reconfigured the upper floors to accommodate en-suite bedrooms for both parents and kids. The basement is entertainment ready with a kitchenette, large living and TV room, laundry room, and a new bathroom—altogether serving as a portal to and from the lake.
A design element of particular note is a custom wooden screen concealing the sliding doors on the interior of the home, creating texture while allowing light to flood in. Additionally, the team designed custom entry doors for the main residence and boathouse that reflect a similar aesthetic.
On the exterior of the home, SHED used a limited palette of materials: brick, burned Japanese cypress, concrete, and metal paneling. The house is formed on white brick walls, anchored to the site, holding up a darker volume clad in shou sugi ban siding—a material echoed on the boathouse that will gain patina with age and result in a beautiful home for years to come. To emulate the feeling of the San Juan Islands, the architects incorporated a sauna, a family-sized cedar hot tub, a firepit, wood storage, an outdoor shower, and a barbecue area into the landscape.