Parti Shot: Rockaway Residence by Eerkes Architects

When we dream of living at the beach, we often think of gazing at wide, open water. But the reality is, that gets a bit boring over time—especially after dark. The better water views encompass a modicum of human vibrancy—ships, ferries, and sailboats passing by, a kaleidoscope of twinkling lights and colors. This parcel of land—a double lot—on Bainbridge Island has it all, and Eerkes Architects is capturing the full scope in a new coastal house.

“It’s on an outcropping of rocks, so there are near views, far views, ferries, and orcas,” says Les Eerkes, AIA. “There are views of Seattle, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, and the rest of the Cascades. And there are magical sunrises.” And yet, this is not the kind of pristine beach you’d find in Florida. “It’s 80% rocks, gravel, barnacles, and seaweed, and our tides change about 12 feet a day,” he adds. So the water-loving clients, who also have a house in Hawaii, are slaking their liquid lust with a large indoor pool. 

Arranged in an L-shape and pushed to the lot’s northern edge, the house showcases both water displays from all key rooms. Window wall systems will open both the pool and the house to the outdoors on temperate days, enabling lifestyle not unlike Hawaii’s. “The difference between Seattle and Hawaii is we can only do that three months out of the year,” says Les. 

The primary bedroom, located on a second level, is the other showstopper in the 6,000-square-foot house—reaching out to the view with a dramatic cantilever that also shelters outdoor space below. Really, who needs Hawaii, after all?

Rockaway Beach Residence

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Architect: Les Eerkes, AIA, principal, and Jonathan Thwaites, AIA, project manager, Eerkes Architects, Seattle

Builder: Toth Construction, Seattle

Project size: 6,647 square feet; 994 square feet (garage)

Site size: 0.55 acre

Renderings: Notion Workshop.