The site for this floating home, in the heart of Seattle, is an outboard slip on a dock on Lake Union with views west towards Gas Works Park . Constructed on concrete floats that are 24 feet wide by 44 feet long, the homes on this dock are situated so that the shorter dimension faces out to the lake. For the layout of the house, our client chose an inverted plan where the living spaces are situated on the upper floor, taking advantage of the view, while bedrooms are on the lower, float level.
Stepping onto the float, one encounters a broad exterior deck that runs the length of the float; this deck leads to the front entry while also providing access to boat moorage adjacent to the float. The front entry features two exterior walls of channel glass, allowing abundant natural light for the entry and stair yet maintaining privacy. Inside, a cantilevered stair leads to the upper level while steps down lead to private bedroom areas. On the lower level, the master bedroom, dressing area, and bath are located to the west with views out to the lake. A private office space completes the master suite. A guest bedroom with bath is at the east end of the house. The laundry room with direct access to the boat deck is located in between.
The second floor, which is essentially a single, open room, provides multiple activity areas to enjoy throughout the day. To take maximum advantage of Seattle's limited sunshine, our client desired both an eastern morning and a western evening terrace. The east terrace, adjacent to the kitchen, features a small seating area, provides access to a small roof deck, and has a dedicated barbecue area. The west terrace is located adjacent to the living and dining areas; two folding door wall systems allow the terrace to be shared by both. A diffused glass wall along the south side of the living area allows for even more natural light but maintains privacy from the neighboring floating home. The north wall of the upper level is lined with a continuous wall of cabinetry serving both the kitchen and dining areas. A wood slat ceiling feature anchors the center of the space and provides contrast to the surrounding white ceiling and walls.
Exterior materials were chosen for longevity and ease of maintenance. The exterior float deck and front entry floor are finished in white terrazzo. Lower exterior walls are clad in horizontal teak slats. Applied as a rain screen, the teak weathers to a silver gray.
Upper exterior walls are clad with white ceramic panels which require no maintenance other than a periodic hose wash for cleaning. Teak screens enclose the east terrace; on the north the panels are fixed while on the east they are operable. A teak screen also extends along on the south side of the upper level with both fixed and operable panels at the west terrace. These screens provide varying degrees of privacy and sun protection. Interior walls are primarily painted in a soft off-white color. Lower level floors are rift-cut white oak and bathroom floors are finished with limestone tiles. Upper level floors are also rift-cut white oak but finished with an ebony stain. Cabinets are a combination of rift-cut white oak, finished naturally, and Afromosia, an exotic hardwood from Africa.