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The Pageantry of Portage Bay

Rising from opposing wedges of glass and concrete, the monolithic steel structure of this Seattle lakefront architectural gives one the distinct feeling that it is reaching out to the view of Portage Bay and pulling it right into the home. The stunning effect — “a seascape pageantry,” as listing agent Wendy Lister of Coldwell Banker Bain in Seattle calls it — is by pure design.

blog_vertical_3_montlake“I wanted it to feel as though you were descending into the view, but also pulling the view in and enveloping the space,” reveals architect Dave Dykstra. “Great consideration was given to making sure the view became a grand element of the home and the experience of living there.”

Dykstra fashioned the 4,468-square-foot residence around the elemental qualities of water, first by extending the house toward the bay and then by integrating the pool and spa into the overall design. Being careful not to disrupt the full-width-view frontage of the home’s main great room, he oriented the spa and sunlit pool— which won an award in 2009 — with expansive terracing along the side of the home. The resulting placement protects the pool against the wind and connects the water elements to the landscape, unfolding and cascading, one into the next. This approach gives the home “a floating sensation, further enhancing the light and airy quality created by the continuous glass walls,” says Dykstra.

Notes Lister: “The entire house has this aerodynamic sense of movement. The glass walls communicate with the entire Portage Bay setting — stretching from water, sky, pool, blossoms, architectural pieces and the rhythm of marine life. You want to wrap yourself up with the daily adventures of architecture on a bay of houseboats, renowned yacht clubs, watercraft of every conceivable shape, color and purpose. Every hour is a different story. A kaleidoscope of bay living.”


Despite its glass walls, the interiors feel private, with 3 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths — and feel seemingly worlds away from the inner city, despite only being mere moments from downtown Seattle, the University of Washington and Husky Stadium via freeways in four directions. The breezy promise of a nautical lifestyle makes some of these urban pleasures even more accessible.

“You can zip to breakfast, lunch and dinners on your boat,” adds Lister. “The 110-foot dock is suited for a major vessel of more than 65 feet and the special rarity of allowing a sea plane to taxi up and tie up.”

The matchless inner-city location and sleek architecture have made it an ideal shelter for a musician, an engineer, or a collector looking for a space to display art. The house is also brimming with both aesthetic beauty — found in sleek details such as the backlit onyx backsplash in the kitchen— and home automation power — such as a Lutron system that controls the window shades and lights. Inventive technological touches also include a surround system that runs throughout the entire property, both indoors and out, and a heat pump that runs under the dock and into Portage Bay to use geothermal energy for cooling the home.


Of course, the views of Portage Bay are never far away — reaching, pulling and engaging visitors from the very first moment they enter the front door. The beauty lying just beyond the glass delights and surprises — like a living, breathing pageant of nature you’ve never seen before.

By Alyson Pitarre

This article originally appeared in Homes & Estates.

3002 Fuhrman Ave. E
Seattle, WA 98102
$7,368,000 USD

Represented by: Wendy Lister
Coldwell Banker Bain


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The Pageantry of Portage Bay

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