Skip to Content
photo of Bluff House
Photo: Dick Busher

Bluff House

Seattle, Washington

Bluff House

Seattle, Washington

  • Design Principal

    Jim Olson

Sited on a steep shoreline hillside, this house commands broad views of Elliott Bay and Puget Sound. The entire site is considered living space, with rooms formed both inside and outside. Large sliding doors in the primary living pavilion create a transparency that allows water views from the Zen-inspired garden court through the structure. Inside the pavilion, high, layered ceilings dissolve any sense of vertical containment.

A roll‑up garage door at the center opens the shallow room to sea breezes and the sounds of lapping water. Jim Olson, FAIA




“Listing, p. 218.” Unique Homes, April 1996, 218. Print.


“Magnolia Bluff.” Landscape Architecture Magazine (LAM), April 1995, 86. Print.

Whiteson, Leon. “A Balance with Nature on Puget Sound.” Architectural Digest Vol. 52 No. 4, April 1995, 126-133, 202-203. Print.

Whiteley, Peter O. “A Box Seat on Puget Sound.” Sunset, Oct. 1995, 98. Print. Web.

Van Deventer, M. J. Western Design. Lincolnwood: Publications International Ltd., Jan. 1995, 278-280, 282-283. Book.


Albert, Fred. “Site and Sound.” The Seattle Times: Pacific NW Magazine, 9 May 1993, 34-38. Print.