Dorsey Residence / Coates Design

Courtesy of

Located in Bainbridge Island, Washington much of the Dorsey Residence is hidden behind a two-story concrete face, however its interior spaces reflect a different experience of warmth, light, and openness. Architects Coates Design created an 18-inch concrete wall that forms two sides of the home’s exterior. These walls provide a poignant counterpoint to the warm wooden and copper box that rests at a slight angle to take full advantage of the site’s water and mountain views. The concrete exterior wall and exposed concrete within the home reduce energy costs by serving as a thermal mass that naturally cools the home in the summer and holds warmth in the winter.

More photographs and drawings following the break.

Architects: Coates Design
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington,
Interior Design: Coates Design
General Contractor: Smallwood Design and Construction
Landscape Architect: Outdoor Studio
Structural Engineer: PAO Structural Engineering
Mechanical Installer: Sullivan Heating and Cooling
Project Area: 2,800 sf
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Courtesy of Coates Design

Courtesy of Coates Design

Each room within the home was carefully designed to take advantage of views, provide comfort to the occupants, and an appealing style. With only a small buildable area available on the site, the home was designed to maximize the footprint through the use of vertical space which also takes advantage of the spectacular views of Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains to the West. The close proximity to the street is softened by native landscaping and a stone gabion retaining wall. The back facade of the home has an abundance of windows, which illuminate the interior livable space, maximizing the spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains and the water. The main living opens out onto a large deck that cantilevers from the home’s structure, providing a seamless connection from inside to out.


The kitchen offers a beautifully crafted bar designed with caramelized bamboo, gloss laminate, and a three-way mitre corner. Visually hidden in custom built cabinetry in the pantry next to the kitchen are the refrigerator, washer and dryer, and wine cooler which save space and provide a clutter-free kitchen.
The interior of the home is well-lit, with clear glazing making up nearly all of its view to the backyard and Puget Sound. The stairs, lit by a large skylight above, are made of customized blackened steel and the wood was milled from a tree previously located on the property. With 12-foot-tall ceilings, the three-story home leaves an indelible sensation of openness and inspiration with all who visit.

floor plans
Cite: "Dorsey Residence / Coates Design" 14 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
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