4D Architects
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Kirkland Modern

Kirkland Modern

Kirkland, WA
Builder: Tom Braaten Construction
Project Type: Custom Client - New Home
4D Project: 11024

  • 3,000 square feet of living space, 2 car garage
  • Master Suite plus 1 guest room, 2.5 baths on 3 floors
  • Great Room, Study, large covered outdoor decks, 900 square feet unfinished space for storage or future living space.

This single family residence is designed for a couple wishing to downsize without sacrificing the features found in larger homes. Preferring a contemporary style, the owners wanted an open floor plan that minimized the number of doors and maximized orientation to sun and views, plenty of outdoor living space, a comfortable yet spacious master suite with attached study, and a separate, private bedroom to accommodate guests.

The Kirkland site, within walking distance to the city center and its restaurants, shops and amenities, provided a number of design opportunities, including panoramic views of Lake Washington to the northwest and southwest, and an orientation allowing for abundant solar access. A number of design constraints had to be accommodated, as well. A significant side slope, coupled with the owners' desire to capture the views from the highest elevation of the site, provided a relatively narrow building area for the home. City code requirements further restricted the building envelope with regard to setbacks, height limitation, maximum floor area ratio and impervious surface coverage on the lot.

4D Architects was able to design a very unique, contemporary home for this couple. The slope of the street and site topography allowed for the placement of the garage below the house, with side-facing doors to deemphasize the garage and lengthen the driveway, allowing for more off-street parking while reducing the driveway slope.

With the main and upper levels of the home at a higher elevation, the use of corner windows capitalizes on the prominent water views. Large overhangs on the south and west sides of the house shield against much of the summer sun, but allowing the low-angled winter sun to penetrate deep into the home.

On the main level, 3-inch, radiant-heated, exposed concrete floors offer thermal mass to minimize temperature swings and store heat on sunny winter days. The entire upper floor of the home is dedicated to the master suite and study, including generous walk-in closets and built-in cabinetry. Covered outdoor decks on the main and upper levels provide sheltered space for outdoor living. The basement offers sufficient unfinished space for a future bedroom and bathroom, and a signature stair connects the three levels of the home, emphasizing the contemporary design and open feel of the space.

The exterior of the home responds to the urban setting with flat roofs and vertical features, achieving a sense of individuality and expressing the owners' personalities while complementing the neighborhood's mixed vocabulary of design styles.