Central District house

Seattle, WA

This custom home with an ADU (accessory dwelling unit) was designed and built by WC STUDIO. Located in Seattle’s Central District, a rapidly transforming neighborhood with an established arts community, the Central District House design swaps the parking area on the ground floor with an artist live-work space so that the additional monthly rental income from the ADU can offset the mortgage expense.

The sloping site commanded a beautiful view of the Olympic Mountains and the Seattle skyline but only from the top floor. Breaking from residential design convention, we decided to locate the bedrooms downstairs and living space upstairs in a reverse floor plan arrangement, sometimes referred to as an upside-down house. In this configuration, the view could be appreciated and enjoyed from the top level living room that opens onto a deck overlooking the city.

The interior features polished concrete floors with radiant heating on all levels. The upper floor living level roof is supported on glu-lam beams with a cedar clad vaulted ceiling and open plan. A steel rolling ladder gains access to the writing loft, a perch above the living room. The IKEA kitchen cabinets complement the industrial aesthetic with a stainless steel countertop and restaurant-grade sink faucet. The parking area was located at the rear of the property by way of a shared ribbon driveway and easement negotiated with the neighboring property and the landscape design incorporated gabion walls and concrete pavers.


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The loft area above the kitchen is accessible via a library ladder.

The loft area above the kitchen is accessible via a library ladder.

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A gabion structure acts as retaining wall and planter next to the shared ribbon driveway.

A gabion structure acts as retaining wall and planter next to the shared ribbon driveway.

Exposed beams and vaulted cedar ceiling in the top floor living room

Exposed beams and vaulted cedar ceiling in the top floor living room