Satterlee Hillside

The Satterlee project is a new custom home in Kenmore, Washington for a family of four, completed fall 2013. The site is a steeply sloping west facing hillside across the street from Lake Washington with a gorgeous and expansive view to the west and south over the lake. This active family asked westerbeck|architecture for a modest, energy efficient, dynamic and hard working northwest modern home on a tight budget with about 2400 square feet of living space. Sloping lots make for dramatic architecture and are the most challenging sites on which to build. Land use codes required parking for two vehicles on the property, high above the road, challenging us to devise a switchback driveway that gained significant elevation and put the house in a sweet spot halfway up the slope in a natural bowl on the site, also gaining maximum views. The two story home sits on a steel framework and moment frame, anchored to the hillside with a soldier pile concrete retaining wall that cradles the carport and entry stair below. Entry to the home is via stairs on the north side that follow the slope of the hillside, then continue inside to the upper level where views are gradually gained as one moves up and through the house.

The home has three levels: The base level, under the steel framework, is a large carport protected from the weather by the home overhead. The second level holds two kid’s bedrooms and a bath, master suite with lake views, and a generous utility and mechanical room tucked into the hillside. Walking up the main stair, following the slope of the hillside, a large skylight looms above, washing diffused light down the north stair wall. Arrival at the upper floor yields the living and dining areas, kitchen, guest/family room, powder room and an entertainment-ready roof deck accessed via a series of glassy doors ready to be left open in warm weather.

The house has increased insulation values and employs a variety of structural systems: 12″ SIP roof panels on glu-lam beams, 2×6 wood framing sitting on a steel wide flange structural frame which is connected to the site with formed concrete anchored to a soldier pile and timber lagging retaining wall. Walls are insulated to R-24 with blown in batt (BIBs) insulation, roof decks are insulated with spray foam and batt, and the roof is insulated and structured with 12″ SIP panels with an R-value of R-48.

Major materials and products used on the project include: 5/4 x 4 clear cedar rainscreen siding, hardie panel, cedar decking, TPO roofing, SIP roof panels, glue-lam beams, Milgard windows, Juno lighting, IKEA bath vanities, Northwest Door Modern Classic aluminum garage door with insulated glass, concrete stair treads by Diamond Concrete products, custom powder coated steel railings with stainless cable, bamboo strip flooring, Mutual Materials masonry wall block and patio pavers, VG fir window sills and a 98% efficiency gas furnace forced air heating system.

Contractor: Cottonwood Construction, Bothell, WA