Beach Drive Residence
Size: 3,071 SF
Photography: William Wright
A beach house for a family of four on Puget Sound waterfront in West Seattle features an open, carefully day lit interior in a very compact shell. A small house with big open spaces, the small footprint of the house belies the open, light-filled spaces within.
Sited on a forty-foot-wide lot and replacing an old beach cottage, the Beach Drive Residence includes three bedrooms, three bathrooms, open living and reading spaces, and a high playroom. A “pavilion” courtyard shared with the southern neighbor centers the entry side of the house.
A rocky Puget Sound beach with views of Blake, Vashon, and Bainbridge Islands are the focus of the west side of this house. The openness to the beach and salt water guided the process of the design and selection of materials and finishes. A concern for the permanence and maintenance of the house led to a careful selection of ground-face concrete block, natural concrete floors, and metal windows and door systems and to the raising of the house on a solid base formed of stepping concrete terraces. The relaxed, playful environs led to experimentation with forms, fixtures, and materials.