Architect Julie Kriegh Builds a Great Guest House on Bainbridge Island
Although intimately nested in a dark wood, the house sits up on a high bluff; high enough to capture mood-altering views of Puget Sound and Mount Baker, and the routine flights of eagles.
It is every bit the picture of an idyllic retreat. One easily can imagine artists getting inspired, or weekend guests getting rejuvenated.
That’s just the idea behind The Guest House on Bainbridge Island designed by island architect Julie Kriegh. Her clients, passionate art supporters, wanted a house that could be a haven for non-profit art events, artists-in-residence and personal guests. Says Kriegh, “Different non-profit arts groups [such as, Bainbridge Arts and Crafts] can come have a day retreat here.” The overall objective, she says, was to integrate art, architecture, lighting and landscape into one holistic design.
Another client dictate was that the house should blend into the neighborhood. “They did not want a big ostentatious sort of place,” says Kriegh. “They wanted to be subtle and understated.” Kriegh achieved this through obvious and less-so means: from saving the house’s grander aspect for its water-facing backside, and showing just a low-lying single story to the street, to paying attention to simple architectural alignments, such as her employment of a custom bullnose sill plate (the bottom section that encircles the house). “Even though the house steps down in the interior and has multiple levels, that line (and others) is traceable inside and outside as a grounding line,” explains Kriegh. “You don’t notice it,” she adds, “but it’s an organizing element that contributes to the home’s overall relaxed atmosphere.” As well as nestling it into the woods, careful thought was given to the new landscape. It wraps the house in greenery, rockery and a babbling brook, complete with a wooden footbridge at its climax built for the jump-starting of reveries. Says Kriegh, “If there’s an opportunity for it, you want people to linger.”
The house’s interior life is a mix of intimate and expansive spaces, indoor-outdoor connections and the sophisticated and the quirky. The main entrance hall gives way on the west to a great room graced with old growth timber trusses and a stone fireplace, and a book display room, housing a collection of hand-made books, and on the east to a small gallery. Just steps from the book room is a sweet secret garden (the perfect spot for some quiet page turning), while upstairs and downstairs sliding glass walls can easily let the outdoors in. Even in the bigger spaces, the palette of warm woods and lighting (both natural and man-made), and acoustically designed vaulted ceilings, ensures a relaxed aura. The lower level reveals the house’s more kitschy side in the form of a 26-seat film theater boasting a playfully bold custom marquee and chairs culled from the old Seattle Opera House. (To speed up soda-and-snack delivery, a pulley-driven dumbwaiter connects to the kitchen.)
Aptly for this art-driven abode, custom artisans—most of whom Kriegh has had a longtime working relationship with—were given free reign. Their custom handiwork is evident throughout: from glass, stone and metal work to the exposed trusses and built-in furniture and cabinets fashioned by Kriegh’s husband, William Walker. “We had so many different artists and artisans work on the house,” remarks Kriegh. “What we did was create spots for them to have their work. They came in and they created their own pieces, as opposed to my telling them what to do.”
Just how a house dedicated to artistic pursuits should be built.
OPEN HOUSE: Edition 7 :: Number 39
Architectural Firm :: Kriegh Architects
Cost :: Approximately $236 per square foot for an 5,500-square-foot house (total project cost might include additional fees for other services that are not reflected)
Tour it :: Sunday, September 25 (see details below)
Open House Tour:
Our ongoing partnership with the American Institute of Architects Seattle Chapter (AIA Seattle) continues our commitment to bring the experience of Puget Sound–area residential design to our readers. Each issue, we showcase an architect-designed home, selected by AIA Seattle and Northwest Home, which will be open to the public for a Sunday-afternoon viewing. We invite you to tour this issue’s featured home, designed by Julie Kriegh, AIA, of Kriegh Architects, located on Bainbridge Island at 15710 Euclid Ave. NE, on Sunday, September 25, between noon and 3 p.m. For more information on the tour and the Open House program, visit aiaseattle.org; 206.448.4938.
Find It Resources:
Home of the Month The Guest House: Architect: Julie Kriegh, Kriegh Architects, AIA, LEED AP, 921 Hildebrand Lane NE, Suite 220, Bainbridge; 206.780.1337; Julie@kriegharchitects.com; kriegharchitects.com. Built-in furniture/cabinets: Bill Walker, William Walker Woodworking, 10115 NE Kitsap St., Bainbridge; 206.780.5301. Contractor: Steve Deines, Craftsman Building, 10549 Mandus Olson Rd NE, Bainbridge; 206.255.0597; craftsmanbuilding.net. Structural engineer: Dayle Houk, Dayle Houk and Company, 11704 Two Creeks Rd NE, Bainbridge; 206.842.5769. Civil engineer: Dave Browne, Browne Engineers, 197 Parfitt Way, Suite 200, Bainbridge; 206.842.0605; browneengineering.com. Lighting: Brian Hood, Brian Hood Lighting, 1924 First Ave, No. 4W, Seattle; 206.709.8123; brianhoodlightingdesign.com. Landscaping: Jeff Pryde, Forest Pryde, 2665 Finn Hill Rd, Poulsbo; 360.271.3478; ForestPryde.com. Mechanical: Israel Gaphni, Sound Mechanical Consulting, 7093 NE Bayhill Rd, Bainbridge; 206.780.5157. Movie/sound system: Ty Johnson, Ty’s Custom Stereo & Design, Bainbridge; 206.780.9111. Stonework: Steve Lund, Lund Masonry; Woodinville; 425.712.3414; dflmasonry.com. Interior tile/stone: Julie Appel, Appel and Associates, 80055 West Manchester Ave.,Playa del Rey, CA; 310.821.1326. Metal sculpture/handrails: Michele Van Slyke, Bainbridge; 206.842.5308. Glass transom windows: Mesolini Glass Studio, 13291 N Madison Ave. NE, Bainbridge; 206.842.7133; mesolini.com. Landscape sculptures: Rain tree fountain, gunnera leaf, ower-level patio furniture, Little and Lewis, Bainbridge; 206.842.8327; littleandlewis.com. Theater marquee art: Max Grover, Max Grover Gallery, 820 Water St., Port Townsend; 306.385.5051; maxgrover.com. Patio furniture (upper level): Solia Hermes, Hermes Design, Seattle; 206.709.8393.