Property Watch: A Beachfront Beauty in West Seattle
With great risk comes great reward. This one-of-a-kind West Seattle home was built on the last developable waterfront lot along Alki Beach, according to a Seattle Times article from 2001; it presented challenges from the start. First up: How to secure it to the beach?
The solution from architect Philip Christofides involved 61 pilings pushed into the ground under the house, accompanied by a 6-foot-wide rock barrier to address erosion. To maximize the views while also offering some privacy in the front-and-center location, he inverted the traditional layout to put the socializing rooms on the top floor, with bedrooms below.
Inspired by the location, Christofides took a nautical approach to his design, creating a house where—like a boat—every inch is maximized with purpose.
In the great room, two gables set in a cross make for an arresting vaulted ceiling, stained to be the color of driftwood. It was designed so nails or bolts remain undetectable. (Though the original owner joked that it looked like a high-class picnic shelter, and now we can’t unsee it.) Views span the Olympic Mountains, downtown Seattle, the Space Needle, and plenty of waterway activity, from ferries to sailboats to cruise ships crisscrossing.
Throughout the home, there’s a wide range of materials, both rugged and luxe—corrugated metal and Brazilian cherry siding outside, three types of stone and Honduran mahogany built-ins within. Three gas fireplaces were all custom-made.
The galley kitchen also mimics the style of a boat, complete with under-cabinet lighting and filtered hot and cold water. Tucked behind it, there’s a full office and a powder room.
The glass dining room walls fold away to create an open-air balcony. (No air-conditioning needed here.) Custom-designed table and chairs on the deck match the metal railing.
Beside the dining room, a three-story elevator stands ready to transport you elsewhere in this labyrinthine layout.
The entryway level also has two bedroom suites, each with their own bathroom and doors that open to enjoy the view. A recent remodel on this floor upgraded the primary suite, bathroom, walk-in closet, and office.
Downstairs, a flex room with a full bathroom can become a family room, an office, or a guest bedroom—a built-in Murphy bed transforms it quickly into a sleeping space. From here, a sliding glass door takes you straight to the beach.
On the staircase, a 30-foot metal sculpture custom-designed by Seattle artist Troy Pillow stands tall and can stay with the home if desired. (Our vote: Keep it!)
All floors of the home have radiant heat, including the garage. And speaking of the garage, it holds another surprise: a built-in hot tub currently hidden by a steel cover. But if you want to pull it up and turn the garage back into the party spot it once was, the option is there. Underneath the garage, there’s storage for kayaks and paddleboards, making it easy to get out on Elliott Bay whenever the waves are calling.
Listing Fast Facts
3001 Alki Ave SW
Size: 3,230 square feet, 3 bedrooms/3.5 baths
List Date: 2/22/2023
List Price: $4,800,000
Listing Agent: Olga Cherney, Compass