Residential Architecture

Lake Sammamish Residence

Where modern meets exotic. A modern, three-story home with sweeping views of Lake Sammamish.

4,500 SQFT

Of space

5 mths

To Design

12 mths

To Deliver


The first clue that the home shared by business and life partners from different corners of the world is the international flair of the house with the yellow ochre hue of the exterior stucco siding. The unique color, called Schönbrunn Yellow, was hand-picked by the couples in homage to the man’s native Vienna, where the same shade appears on one of the city’s best-known monuments, Schönbrunn Palace. This truly contemporary house designed for European clients was placed on a very steep site. Engineered as one monolithic concrete structure in its foundations, it captured 270 degrees view of the lake. The challenge for the architect was to bridge distinct cultures and to create a spacious and open, yet private residence. The steep site required extensive engineering and the slope stabilization happened as a result of this structural solution. The house is chiseled into the hillside. The first clue that the homehave fallen in love with the lake and it reminded them of houses near the Mediterranean Sea. So they requested that the architect would design something that would fit in the seaside communities, such as Monte Carlo or St. Tropez.
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Interior Design

We approached this site as an opportunity to design an open house with large views and suitable for entertaining many guests. If the exterior colors belong to Vienna, then the interior colors belong to Morocco. Upon entering the front door, the first thing that draws the eye is a gas fireplace set into a Venetian plaster wall treatment, the result of strategic positioning. Look beyond the fireplace and the sweeping panorama of the lake and mountains in mesmerizing. The top floor is one open space, with definition created by other means than walls. It is an elongated space with dining room and kitchen, designed to fit the narrow lot. The kitchen was designed to last without too much maintenance. The cabinets are surfaced with a laminate that can be easily cleaned. Countertops are natural granite. The kitchen features the same panoramic views. There are no nooks, making it easy for guests to talk to one another. As red oak floor stained to accentuate the rose hue, custom built-ins with linen-look laminate on the doors and side panels, and pieces from the couple’s modern-art collection create a stylish look.
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Large part of the construction of this house is concrete with a stucco finish. The rest is traditionally framed with a similar finish, that is lasting, with a contemporary look. Metal roof is easy to clean and does not show weathering. The entry door is contemporary, fabricated in stainless steel, custom designed by the architect. Influenced by the lady of the house, who is French from Morocco, many walls of the house feature custom plaster finishes, such as raked plaster and venetian plaster. Most materials were requested to be washable.

Venetian plaster

Interior walls

Red oak wood


Schoenbrun stucco

Exterior walls

Project Delivery

When the couple purchased the lot, its precarious position on a 45-degree slope made the site appear unbuildable, and the view of Lake Sammamish and the Cascades to the east was obscured by a dense overgrown patch of blackberry bushes. After construction, and the judicious removal of selected trees, the lot held a 4,500-square foot contemporary European-style dwelling with roomy decks and plenty of balconies from which to admire the now-magnificent view. We and the happy homeowners all agree that the collaborative design process yielded a successful fusion of three distinct cultures and sensibilities into one elegant dwelling. Architectural design took up to 3 months, while the interior another 2 months. Construction and interior implementation took a total of 12 months.
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