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photo of Laurelhurst Residence
Photo: Benjamin Benschneider

Laurelhurst Residence

Seattle, Washington

Laurelhurst Residence

Seattle, Washington

  • Design Principal

    Tom Kundig

These clients purchased a steep waterfront site in the Seattle neighborhood of Laurelhurst, where they had lived for 20 years. Leaders in the city’s art community, they wanted their house to serve as a gallery for their collection of contemporary art and as a space for entertaining, without sacrificing privacy or a residential feel.

Starting at the entrance, a series of gallery-like spaces creates a refined backdrop for artwork from the clients’ collection of contemporary art including works by Olafur Eliasson, Louise Bourgeois, Bill Viola, and Ed Ruscha. The modestly sized spaces encourage visitors to engage with the art, often at close quarters.

Precisely sited on a steep lot—the elevation changes 84 feet from top to bottom—the design offers privacy in an urban neighborhood. The living room cantilevers over the slope, limiting contact with the steep slope buffer zone. On the top floor, the cabin-like master suite includes a large, west-facing deck sheltered by deep overhangs and an east-facing deck that seems to float in the treetops. On the lower floor, a casual living area and office open to a terrace. The exterior of the house is clad in weathered steel and rough wood, serving as a textural backdrop for a trellised garden. Sustainable strategies include a photovoltaic system, solar evacuation tubes, and reclaimed materials used in both the structure and interior custom furnishings. Interior design by Olson Kundig.


  • Design Principal

    Tom Kundig

  • Project Manager

    Jerry Garcia

  • Interior Designer

    Debbie Kennedy

  • Staff

    Derek Santo



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