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A lofty, passive solar home in Phinney Ridge

This northwest contemporary loves the sun

An atrium with a spiral staircase and glass windows and doors leading to the rest of the ground floor.
The home’s atrium is central to collecting and distributing heat in the winter and cooling the home in the summer.
Dan Achatz / Windermere/FN

This three-bedroom Phinney Ridge home would already stand out for a gorgeous Northwest Contemporary inside wrapped in a Craftsman-inspired outside. But there’s one more thing that kicks it over the top: a passive solar design.

The house, designed by Clyde Haglund along with original owner Ellen Anderson, was built in 1981 to heat and cool the home without using electricity or traditional mechanical equipment.

The windows, tile, brick, and interior glass in the home are specifically designed to store and distribute heat in the winter, while allowing the home to be cooled off in the summer. A ceiling fan in the home’s atrium can be set to push hot air up or down.

A living area with an exposed wood ceiling, chevron hardwood flooring, and large windows
A dining area with a see-through fireplace in a small brick dividing wall leading into the kitchen.
A wood-cabinet kitchen with exposed ceiling beams has a wood-frame, sliding glass door leading to the atrium Dan Achatz / Windermere/FN
Tiled brick floor and brick accent wall in atrium with spiral staircase to right and wood frame sliding glass door to left

Wood-beamed ceilings in the common areas are accented by partial brick walls, one featuring a see through fireplace that connects the dining area and kitchen. A larger, gas fireplace warms the living area.

Typical of Northwest Contemporary, huge windows let in sunshine and water views in the west-facing living room, but the best source of light in the house are skylights over the atrium. Anderson’s notes on the home, given to Curbed Seattle by the listing agent, say that these windows not only let in sunlight—on a clear night, gentle moonlight comes in, too.

A loft space with large skylights and French doors
An upstairs bedroom with a window, a small bathroom, and vaulted ceilings
A large deck with four chairs, a table, and a view of the water. Dan Achatz / Windermere/FN
A back patio with a trellis, overlooked by a bay window in the home.

The house was purposely designed to open up traditional but cramped spaces in other houses, like stairwells and hallways, and it shows. The atrium serves as a hub, with wood-framed, sliding glass doors connecting it to the kitchen and living room below and French doors leading to other rooms upstairs. A winding, spiral staircase leads to a light-drenched loft right under the skylights, two bedrooms with views, and a large deck.

The backyard features an expansive, wooden patio, surrounded by a trellis and raised beds already planted with raspberries, rhubarb, and hops.

This entire nature-loving package is listed for $875,000.