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Roland Terry-designed Northwest Contemporary is its own nature sanctuary

Houses, Madison Park

Northwest Contemporary homes—particularly the works of midcentury icons like Roland Terry—are known for blurring the line between indoor spaces and the natural landscape around them. But few of them are proactive enough to have a hidden cave room.

3802 E McGilvra Street sits on 95 feet of Lake Washington waterfront in the Canturbury area of Madison Park. It was built in 1970, later in Terry’s career, and he really went to town here. A grand entrance opens to a foyer that doesn’t quite feel like an interior, facing directly to a log bench along a courtyard. Wind the corner to an eat-in kitchen with a small fireplace lounge, bookended by entrances to the outdoors—including a dining patio.

The real showstopper is the sunken living room, though. A soaring, exposed-grain vaulted ceiling sits atop a massive river-rock fireplace, with tall corner window banks facing the lake. Behind the fireplace is kind of an oddity: a small, rock-lined room that’s kind of a combination human den and bear den. The home is full of unique pockets like this, from a rocky lounge off the master to a cabin-like office.

The outdoors are not to be outdone by the indoors: Two thirds of an acre of lush, fairy-tale landscaping features winding stone paths and a private lagoon.

Listed by Evan Wyman and Tere Foster, Compass | Priced at $4.2 million

Sarah was a contributing writer to Urban Living. She can’t sell you a house (but Matt and team can!), but she’ll talk about them for as long as anybody will listen.