The Main House
The architectural centerpiece of Friday Harbor Estate is its main house – a residence of profound sensitivity to its native surroundings and a testament to the craftsman’s art. Designed to evoke the low-slung, board and batten structures that are historic to the San Juan Islands, the main house combines contemporary space planning and careful siting with a palette of exquisite native materials to yield a home that is grand in volume, yet enveloping and supremely approachable in its day-to-day livability. With three bedrooms and room to grow, it comprises 11,686 square feet of living space, spread over its main and lower levels, laid out in an open, modern floor plan that invites easy flow for casual living.
This is a perfectly structured environment for large family gatherings with walls of windows and huge patio areas that promote easy engagement with the surrounding outdoors while encouraging smaller, more intimate groups to convene under its sheltering eaves.
The main floor is centered by a great room of truly majestic proportions, illuminated by walls of windows and dormers artfully set into its vaulted, geometric ceiling, and addressing outdoor spaces by multiple sets of doors. A gourmet kitchen anchors this space and wraps around a massive central island for high performance food preparation and entertaining. Cabinets are custom made from clear fir, with granite and concrete counters and a full complement of state-of-the-art appliances, housed under an architectural gridwork of adjustable commercial light fixture.
An artisanal, two-sided field stone fireplace sits adjacent to the kitchen, defining a casual dining area and demarking the start of the primary living space. Virtually all par cedar for an aesthetic that is reminiscent of a traditional native longhouse. Wide-plank hardwoods covers the floors of all public areas. The level of craftsmanship on display is simply astonishing, with multiple compound angles artfully integrated into the otherwise seamless planes of the interior spaces, and exposed, clear fir beams functioning as structural support, but also helping to define unique areas of the house.
The master suite is housed in its own wing of the house, and includes walls of custom built-ins for clothing, display and books, while a sumptuous integrated double king bed allows for the ultimate in his and hers comfort. This luxurious retreat offers walk-in closets and an opulent bath suite, with a private sauna and his and hers outdoor soaking tubs, overlooking Friday Harbor from the patio.
An autonomous garage and work studio is accessed off the porte cochere and offers a delightfully light-filled vaulted room to display a car collection or special projects, while an on-site recording studio promises the opportunity for easy conversion into additional bedroom space. In addition, there is plenty of room and allowance for construction of a guesthouse on the property.
The lower level functions as a spacious parlor and gallery, currently outfitted with a series of hanging walls and display areas for the most demanding collector. Built-in bookshelves allow the space to serve as a supremely comfortable library, and state-of-the-art audio/video systems not only run throughout the house, but turn this multi-use space into a discreet home theater of the highest caliber.
Of particular note is the fact that Friday Harbor Estate has been constructed with a combination of design efficiencies and integrated systems that allow it to remain essentially autonomous and “off the grid” for up to a year on generator power alone. There’s even a standalone water purification system, which improves upon San Juan Island’s already noted drinking water. Even the most severe storm or natural disaster will have little to no effect upon the peaceful enjoyment of this property, and its ability to weather the power outages that can adversely effect island residents is second to none. Such security will come as great comfort to those running business-critical operations from home base, or for whom this will be a primary, year-round residence.