DeForest Architects

Union Bay

DeForest Architects: John DeForest, Ted Cameron, Michael Knowles 
Interior Design: NB Design Group
Contractor: Lockhart Suver
Photography: Benjamin Benschneider

Location: Seattle, Washington
Approx. 6,000 sf square feet (not incl. garage)
4BR, 4.5Ba

Overlooking Union Bay, this 6,000 sf waterfront home is both a practical family home and an elegant oasis of space and light. It is also a return to roots, as the new house rests on the site of the owner’s childhood home. One wing of the house is all about retreat—a tranquil den, luxurious main bath, and cozy bedroom. The other embraces togetherness—a spacious kitchen, family room, and breakfast bay overlooking the water. Between these distinct volumes is a series of lofty open spaces for indoor and outdoor entertaining.

The great room was conceived as a lakefront pavilion, defined by architectural concrete walls and sheltered by substantial wood and steel beams. An entire wall of lift-slide doors pocket out of sight to open the room to fresh air, an expansive terrace, and views of the tea house, Union Bay, and Husky stadium.  A two -sided fireplace with burnished steel cladding defines separate areas for dining and seating. Complementing the lofty main space are alcoves for the entry and piano. Large translucent sliding panels afford the office and family spaces more privacy when desired.

A need for comfort and flexibility were key objectives in the kitchen and family room.  The hidden workstations conceal lightweight stools that can be used when additional seating is needed and the dining chairs in the breakfast nook are easily accessible as well.  The sectional sofa helps define the space but is also inclusive in its ability to seat the entire family as well as guests. 

The main bedroom is an oasis of simplicity, anchored by a wall of slatted teak and warmed by a cozy fireplace wrapped in a custom steel surround.  It opens on to a small private terrace overlooking the tea house and lake beyond.

A unique feature is a custom stair inspired by the beauty of structures in nature (think grasshopper legs). It features elegantly tapered steel stringers and cantilevered translucent acrylic panels.       

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