High end contemporary house design by top  architect in the Pacific Northwest
High end contemporary house design by top  architect in the Pacific Northwest



  In the center of the main floor, an interior courtyard opens to the sky and houses a stair to the roof top terrace.  The walls of the courtyard are translucent glass that flood the exercise room with natural light.  An elevator connects all levels for ease of access and for transporting heavy items between floors.



  On the interior, a mixture of stone and wood with accents of steel decorate the surfaces.  In the bowling alley, textured walls provide visual interest.  Also, in the tennis court, the owners challenged the design team with how the space can serve multiple uses.  Developing an extensive list such as private garage for a car collection, entertainment venue for a private concert for the owner and 200 of their closest friends, climbing wall or as possible future indoor pool, the design team incorporated the necessary items to support many of these uses.



  When Eric Drivdahl was asked to design a new home for an existing client, the list of items to include couldn’t have been more fun:  Full-size indoor tennis court; private bowling lanes; a family recroom that would accommodate several gaming tables and wet bar; great room; rooftop terrace; master suite; three bedrooms; and an exercise room that accommodates dozens of activities from aerobics to weight-lifting.


  The challenge was to accommodate all of these activities under one roof and still conform to the local zoning and building codes for building height and size.  With an allowable thirty-percent lot coverage (how much building can be on a lot), the most workable solution was to build the house over the tennis court.



  Working with the allowable twenty-five foot building height limit, the best solution was to sink the tennis court into the ground…a long ways!  Since the recommended ceiling height for indoor tennis courts ranges from 32’ to 36’, Eric developed the plan around a tennis court that averages about 24’ below the existing grade.  Deep foundation walls are required to accommodate this and a structural soldier pile wall was selected for the foundation system.

Additionally, the design team collaborated on an efficient floor system over the tennis courts that serve double duty to stiffen the top of the tall foundation walls and support the main and upper floors of the house.

With the structure thought through, the design team focused on the materials and finishes that would best meet the owners contemporary tastes.  On the exterior, stone and wood were selected for beauty and durability, along with aluminum widows for a clean aesthetic and low maintenance.



  An automatic car lift from the garage that will lift a vehicle down the 16’ from the garage to the tennis court level, a custom designed climbing wall and stage backdrop at one end of the tennis court and ample storage and support spaces for these activities.


Once completed, the  Orchard Place house will be perhaps one of the most entertainment friendly home ever designed by Gelotte Hommas Architecture.  To be sure, the client’s family and friends will benefit from a lifetime of memories together in this incredible home.


Projected Completion: 2015

Principal: Eric Drivdhal
Project Manager:

Builder: not selected
Structural: Dibble Engineers
Photography: Gelotte Hommas Architecture

3025 112th AVE. NE, Suite 110, Bellevue, WA 98004

T | 425.828.3081