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Jim Olson-designed modern home is most expensive sold in Seattle area

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Final price tag: $37.5 million

A video tour of the home.

A modern mansion designed by Jim Olson of Olson Kundig just sold—and broke a big sales record. The Seattle Times first reported the massive sale, which, at $37.5 million, is the highest price ever recorded by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service for a Seattle-area home.

It’s located far up the Hunts Point peninsula—in the town also known as Hunts Point—on the east side of Lake Washington. Like nearby Medina, it’s an extremely wealthy enclave, also home to former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer.

This home, per the Times and King County property records, was owned by Barney Ebsworth until his death about a year ago. Ebsworth made his fortune in cruise lines and through an early Build-a-Bear Workshop investment. He shared the home with his world-renowned collection of American modern art.

While Olson Kundig didn’t immediately return a request for comment, the firm’s project page says the home’s design “weaves art and nature together, creating a comfortable place to live.”

Michael Walmsley/Courtesy of Compass

It’s certainly opulent, but as grand manses go, it’s relatively understated on the exterior, deferring more to the landscape around it. And there’s certainly a lot to blend into—it sits on more than three acres along 300 feet of waterfront, full of old-growth trees, a bamboo grove, and gardens mingled with some outdoor sculpture.

Inside, wide swaths of neutral, interior wall are designed to showcase artwork. An open layout brings in light from dramatic window banks and clerestory windows alike. Wood accents add some warmth to the design. The result is equal parts art gallery and living space.

“In a dark forest, a light‑colored flower stands out so bees and hummingbirds can find it,” said Olson, quoted on the Olson Kundig website. “The same kind of contrast can be used to draw attention to works of art. It can create a sense of drama.”

The master suite takes up an entire wing of the house, down a hallway lined with full window banks on either side, and includes its own sitting area and a roof deck.

The home was purchased using a property trust—a common tactic for anonymity in high-priced homes—and a spokesperson for listing agency Compass confirmed the owners wish to remain anonymous.