2023 RDAA | Custom Urban House | Sound House | GO’C

“Whoever did this is very skilled,” said one of our jurors. Perched on a steep slope in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle, this custom home had to absorb a newly blended family, while also capturing some of the best views in the city. 

“It’s an epic location,” says architect Aimée O’Carroll, ARB. “You have the city, the Sound, and mountains on both sides. But the steep slope restricts the area you can go into, so we had to figure out how to accommodate a family of eight and a lot of cars. Because there was an existing house and an existing garage, we could get a little more footprint than is currently allowed.”

Because the couple loves to cook and entertain, the architects prioritized shared spaces. A central living, dining, kitchen area rises two stories, capturing light and vistas from the slope side of the property. The plan divides an upper level into a children’s wing with pod-sized bedrooms and a kids’ lounge from the primary suite at the opposite end. A lower level provides a plethora of rainy-day activities and access to the pool on pleasant days. Topping off the house is a high-tech and low-tech combination of gardens and solar panels. 

A complex plan on a challenging site, for sure, nonetheless every space is executed with a high level of custom craft and attention to detail. “The stair especially was creatively done,” said a juror. “This is an amazing project for this site.”


Custom Urban House


Sound House


Project Credits

Architect/Interior Designer: Aimée O’Carroll, ARB; Jon Gentry, AIA, GO’C, Seattle

Builder: Thomas Fragnoli Construction, Seattle

Structural Engineer: Swenson Say Faget, Tacoma, Washington

Project Size: 5,500 square feet

Site Size: 0.18 acre

construction cost: $1,000 per square foot

Photography: Kevin Scott

Key Products

Cabinetry: Custom by Scott Faulkner

Cladding: T&G cedar with ebony stain; Richlite cladding panels

Cooking Ventilation: Vent-A-Hood

Countertops: Carrara marble

Door Hardware: Emtek; FritsJurgens (entry door pivot hardware)

Faucets: Dornbracht

Kitchen Sink: Julien

Lighting: Rich Willing Brilliant

Range: Lacanche

Refrigerator: True

Fireplace: Isokern; Regency

Windows: Quantum WIndows & Doors