Ralph Anderson is an iconic Northwest architect, best-known in his day for revitalizing Pioneer Square. But he’s left a lasting legacy, and gained a cult following, for a vast portfolio of Northwest Contemporary homes that play with the world around them.
This four-bedroom home on Mercer Island is completely in Anderson’s element, pressed into a wooded hillside and positioned toward Lake Washington views. And while the interior is a little more modern—in a sleek kind of way—than some of Anderson’s other work in the area, it carries many of his hallmarks.
Still, from the outside, it’s classic Anderson, all deep, rich wood colors and shapes that frame the surrounding environment while avoiding being boring or plain. The front patio is sheltered by a peaked roof with exposed beams below. Ornamentation is minimal and deliberate: a row of windows above the door, a small rock garden.
Anderson homes often play with atypical or abundant skylights—and in this home, we see a starburst shape that’s appeared in some of his other homes, reimagined as a kind of bell tower or turret rising above the entryway. Wood accents are subtle: exposed beams at the top of the mini-turret, a room divider between the entryway and the dining room, dropped ceiling accents in the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Corner windows surround the living room for a big view of the water.
Four bedrooms include a master with a vaulted ceiling with deck access and a water view. Others, even those on the lower floor, are still designed to get plenty of light thanks to the hillside location.
The exterior is where this home really stands out, though. A network of decks and patios are built to survey the treetops and the lake, whether soaring above on the top floor’s wraparound deck or below in a sheltered, outdoor lounge area tucked beneath the top floor for a serious treehouse vibe. A concrete patio down a spiral staircase from the top floor even has a fire pit.
Architectural prestige, the ritzy Mercer Island locale, and the majorly big views add up to a steep listing price: $2.5 million.
- 3029 69th Ave SE [Heidi Ward]