An expansive curve and a massive retractable window wall define the form of this contemporary urban residence. Perched on Queen Anne hill overlooking downtown Seattle and Puget Sound, Meg Home takes full advantage of its steeply sloped site with 180-degree views of the urban landscape below. A two-story “guillotine” window wall physically opens the home to these sweeping views with the help of a hand-cranked wheel and three large counterweights. This sense of openness at the back of the home is juxtaposed against the respectful street scale at the front, where an intimate courtyard garden frames the entrance.
Architect: Olson Kundig
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Status: Built; Completed 2016
Project Size: 6,050 SF
Project Team: Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA, Design Principal; Angus MacGregor, RIBA, LEED® AP, Project Manager; Justin Helmbrecht, LEED® AP and Hayden Robinson, Project Architects; Debbie Kennedy, LEED® AP ID+C, Interior Design; Ana Brainard, Interior Design Staff; Phil Turner, Gizmo Design
Key Consultants: Schuchart/Dow, General Contractor; Coughlin Porter Lundeen, Civil Engineer; KB Architectural Services with Phil Turner, Gizmo Design; MCE Structural Consultants, Structural Engineer; O- Lighting, Lighting Design; Ohashi Landscape Services, Landscape Architect; Alpine Welding, Gizmo Fabrication
Contrasts abound in this 6,050-square-foot home, with industrial architectural details including exposed, unfinished steel beams and plywood casework offsetting vintage interior furnishings and a custom-built, reclaimed fir dining table. Much like the outgoing yet reserved owner couple, Meg Home represents a delicate balancing act: between transparency and refuge, spare industrial modernity and inviting warmth.
Olson Kundig is a collaborative global design practice whose work expands the context of built and natural landscapes. Led by five owners, the firm’s work can be found in more than fifteen countries on five continents, with projects ranging from cultural and museum projects to exhibition design, commercial and mixed-use design, private and multi-family residential, hospitality projects, places of worship, interior design, product design and landscape design.