Laurelhurst Residence

Location Seattle, Washington
Design Principal Tom Kundig

The clients had purchased a steep waterfront site in the Seattle neighborhood of Laurelhurst, where they had lived for twenty 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 eighty-four 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.

The exterior of the house is clad in weathered steel and rough wood, serving as a textural backdrop for a garden which will climb up the walls via trellising. Precisely sited on a steep site, the design works to retain its owners’ privacy while in close proximity to neighbors. Sustainable strategies include a photovoltaic system, solar evacuation tubes, and reclaimed materials used in both the structure and interior custom furnishings. Interiors designed by Olson Kundig.



Design Principal

Tom Kundig

Project Manager

Jerry Garcia

Interior Designer

Debbie Kennedy


Derek Santo



Dailey, Meghan. “The Local Element.” BLOUIN ARTINFO: Art + Auction, July 2011, 54-59. Print.

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