Edelstein Residence

This project included remodeling and expanding a 1940’s era, single family home, located on a steep hillside overlooking Lake Washington for a happily married, spirited couple.  The design was to include a new master bedroom suite and adjacent balcony, a shrine space for meditating, a sitting room, a new sunroom, a new patio and a fully remodeled living room, kitchen and circulation areas.   

The existing interior spaces and floor plan felt small, boxy and disjointed.  The Owners requested that the new design create a better plan flow and a spatial experience that would be more playful, functional and dynamic.  The Master Bedroom should be located in its own private world affording an exceptional view towards the lake (while as much as possible avoiding looking into the neighbor’s house immediately to the east). The Owners felt that an intimate bonding needed to occur between the main interior living spaces, the surrounding landscape and the distant environs.  The Owners requested that the new design be experientially “uplifting” and “expansive” while at the same time feeling “intimate”, well “grounded” and thoughtfully connected to its site.  The design should respect and reflect the opposite, yet complimentary and compatible, aspects of the couple’s personalities.
The design begins by opening up the living room to create a “center place” that acts as a  hub to the rest of the house.  This resulted in breaking out existing walls around the fireplace and creating a new curved wall that defines a more efficient hallway that spatially surrounds the existing fireplace and perceptually enlarges the living room space.  The curved hallway not only adds to the perceived Living Room space but also serves as a source of daylight from above, illuminating the interior core.  The “gesture” of the center plan curve inspired the curved geometry of the roofs above.  The various roof forms reflect the various room functions and spaces inside.  The break-up of roof forms creates a rather interesting perception of a little village.
The Sun Room also functions as the new front Entry to the house which flows into both the main Stair Hall as well as into the Kitchen and Patio to the south.  The existing exterior brick is allowed to weave its way indoors strengthening one’s memory of the home’s historic material.  The Patio is “couched” into the hillside creating a lovely, private, human scaled, outdoor garden room.  The Master Bedroom and Shrine room are lifted to the upper, more private, second floor loft affording a dramatic view over Lake Washington.  Windows on the West façades are kept small to maintain some privacy from the neighbors uphill while creating a variety of Zen views outward.  These windows also invite little surprise experiences of a drifting western sunlight and the play of bamboo shadows onto a variety of interior surfaces and places of repose.   Small windows dance their way along the stairway up to the Master Bedroom loft above.  The ancient, hand carved, exterior stone stairs at the front entry are imported from China.
The interior’s complement of salmon/terra cotta, pumpkin and sea green paint colors combine to express a lively and soulful spirit of life on earth.  The warm color of the exterior stucco intends to provide a soft, neutral backdrop to the surrounding floral and vegetation colors.  The exterior color and window patterns make a respectful connection to the neighbor’s home immediately to the north while serving to nicely complement the color of the existing brick work.  The standing seam metal roof lines serve to accentuate dramatic roof shapes.