studio zerbey / issaquah highlands residence

We’ve been working on a new project at Studio Zerbey and are excited to finally share some schematic renderings and plans with you!

(FYI – only the first two renderings show landscaping, but the entire site will be planted!)


Located east of Seattle, the project is a new custom residence in the Harrison Views neighborhood of Issaquah Highlands.


The home is targeted for 5-star Built Green, LEED for Homes Platinum and will also incorporate Passivhaus elements. (A few of the strategies so far include triple-glazed windows, extra insulation, green roofs and photovoltaic panels.) The clients, who have been fantastic to work with, are totally on board with this direction which makes the process really exciting for everyone.


The building site has a unique upper bench and lower bench with a steep slope between them. The siting of the house takes advantage of this topography, creating a linear datum line that not only serves as a retaining wall but also as an organizing element for the home’s circulation.


The massing of the home is designed to maximize views, natural daylight and compliment the scale of the surrounding community. (The neighborhood is partially developed, we just didn’t model the surrounding homes.) =) The living spaces are oriented to capture the panoramic views to the southwest and northwest, including Lake Washington and the Olympic mountain range as well as Seattle and Bellevue skylines.

A series of green roofs and protected outdoor spaces will allow the homeowners to extend their living spaces year-round.


With an emphasis on durability, the material palette will consist of a gray stained cedar siding, corten steel panels, cement board siding, T&G fir soffits, exposed wood beams, black fiberglass windows, board-formed concrete, glass railings and a standing seam metal roof.


A careful site analysis was done early on to suss out the best views and determine how unbuilt adjacent lots might be developed. (For the renderings and site plan, we used a combination of SketchUp, a v-ray rendering plugin and panoramic photographs.)

Below are the schematic floor plans for the ground level, main level and upper level (click to enlarge). The total area is 3,425 SF of living space plus 575 SF for the garage.

Z:Studio ZerbeyProjectsActive Projects1309 Issaquah Highland

Z:Studio ZerbeyProjectsActive Projects1309 Issaquah Highland

Z:Studio ZerbeyProjectsActive Projects1309 Issaquah Highland

Construction is slated to start this spring and we look forward to sharing the progress!


22 Responses to “studio zerbey / issaquah highlands residence”

  1. Patricia says:

    Yeah… I fooled around with SketchUp to help re-design a friend’s bathroom and mine is nowhere near as sexy as those renders above. Can’t wait to see more of the progress!

  2. tami says:

    WOW this is amazing! beautiful work

  3. Elise says:

    This design is so creative and interesting. I love all of the windows and differently-shaped spaces. Nice work, you two!

  4. Gaidig says:

    “Rumpus Room” – I love that!

    One question: why did you elect to place the outdoor kitchen on the deck planned for lounging rather than the deck planned for dining?

  5. Ashly says:

    I’m ready to give you all of my money for the plans for house #2. Haha.

  6. Dana says:

    So dreamy! Especially love the Rumpus Room (!) and the master closet oriented behind the bed. Genius.

  7. hjc says:

    Wow – that is a stunner! And that neighborhood, with the views – amazing.

  8. Kyle Gibson says:

    Love the design… question, does the chimney not have to extend above the roofline? They are required to extend 3′ above the highest part of the roof here in TX… i guess someone did a study that a spark is not harmful from 3 ft away.

    • Kyle Zerbey says:

      Hi Kyle, It’s actually a requirement of the international residential code, not just Texas:) It’s raised in the first 2 images but lower in the rest which are older images showing a concrete fireplace. The requirement is actually for 2ft above within 10ft horizontal. IRC M1804. We might actually wind up doing direct vent in which case it all becomes a moot point:)

  9. Nolwenn says:

    love this wall, link between house and garden

  10. Christina says:

    Lovely house! Very thoughtful design!
    I would like to make a recommendation about the middle level of the floor plan. As a disclaimer, I will say that I don’t know anything about the client’s needs or the geographical constraints so my suggestion might not be relevant. But, as a follower of your blog for the last several years I feel I know you enough to make a comment 🙂

    I feel that the kitchen is too far from the stairs that lead to the garage. I am assuming that the garage and the stairs will be the primary entry to the house – especially with groceries and kids. If it is the front door, than my comment is moot. Have you considered mirroring that side of the floorplan? The spaces would read (from left to right): study, kitchen, pantry, entry, bathroom, bedroom. This would put the kitchen and pantry much closer to the stairs and garage entrance. Obviously this would slightly effect the living/dining arrangement. Just a thought.

  11. Alan says:

    Wow. Incredible design. I might need this house in a few years up here in the San Juans…

  12. Davide says:

    What about closing off that veranda with folding glass doors “” of all glass paraper “” ?

  13. Dale says:

    I walk past this house almost every day. Really like the scale; it looks like it will “live small” – meant as a compliment. Two questions: 1) I don’t like deck surfaces that also need to perform as a roof for dry spaces below. What materials have you selected? 2) Exposed wood beam ends (“rafters?”) do not hold up in our climate, even if they’re super-treated-cedar or another miracle wood. What material/treatment have you selected for those? Love the metal roof for similar reasons though!

  14. Kyle Zerbey says:

    Hi Dale, Thanks for the compliments. You’ll be glad to know that we’ve already considered all your other comments. All the TJI rafters you see exposed right now will be covered in wood soffit. The exposed beams have one coat of Sikkens on them right now and will get 2 more coats. Beam tops and ends protected with kynar flashing caps to match roofing metal. You can see renderings here.

    Decks over insulated spaces should only be designed by qualified Architects:) Give me a ring if you want to discuss. Maybe a bit to detailed for blog response:)

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