Discover the Largest House in Washington and Just How Big 66,000 Square Feet Really Is 

Written by Jennifer Geer
Updated: September 7, 2023
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Named after the fictional Xanadu in the classic movie Citizen Kane, the biggest house in Washington is a stunning masterpiece with high-tech features and gorgeous natural surroundings. Bill Gates is the owner of the mammoth lakefront estate situated on the shores of Lake Washington referred to as Xanadu 2.0.

Infographic of the Largest House in Washington
Bill Gates’s house is in Medina, where other billionaires such as Jeff Bezos also own homes.

The Largest House in Washington State

Bill and Melinda Gates built the Pacific Lodge-style home, which is Washington’s biggest house, in 1995 using natural materials from the region. Gates purchased the land for $2 million in 1988, then spent the next seven years building his dream home.

The house in Medina not only blends perfectly into its natural environment, but it’s also a technological marvel with plenty of state-of-the-art features. 

Bill Gates' House in Washington

©Dllu / CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

The House Was Constructed With 500 Year Old Fir Trees

No, Gates didn’t have the trees cut down himself. Instead, he rescued trees that came from an old lumber mill. Sanded to a satiny smooth finish, the logs were used in construction to help the King County house blend in with the natural background.

A picture of a lake in King County, Washington.

King County in Washington is known for its picturesque lakes and natural beauty.

© Twynam

It’s the Perfect Smart Home

It’s no surprise that Gates’s house has its estate-wide server system. Furthermore, guests wear a pin that tracks them via GPS. The guests can input their preferences for lighting, temperature, and music. As people move from room to room, each area adjusts to their personal preferences.

Hidden speakers in the walls play their favorite songs as they move about. And art on the wall (actually oversized display screens) can change with a click of a button. 

Lots of Space

The house features seven bedrooms, six kitchens, more than 20 bathrooms, a reception hall that accommodates up to 200 guests, and a home theater with 20 plush seats. The exercise room includes a steam room, sauna, men’s and women’s lockers, and a trampoline room with 20-foot high ceilings.

A Caribbean Island-Style Beach

A nearly 60-foot-long pool with an underwater sound system features a wall of glass that you can swim under to get outdoors and onto the private beach. Each year, Gates has soft powdery sand from the Caribbean flown in to stock the beach.

Artificial Stream 

An artificial stream, stocked with salmon and trout, was installed to deal with runoff issues that could potentially happen due to the mansion’s high walls.

Sockeye Salmon in the river. Red spawning sockeye salmon in a shallow stream. Sockeye Salmon swimming and spawning. Scientific name: Oncorhynchus nerka

Bill Gates stocks his artificial stream with salmon.

©Sergey Uryadnikov/


The house is considered “earth-sheltered.” An earth-sheltered home uses sun and light to heat the home, while some of the walls are underground and covered with earth for insulation. Earth-sheltered homes use less energy for heating and cooling than traditional houses.

Secret Pivoting Bookcases in the Library

The 2,100-square-foot library contains a domed reading room and an oculus. Kept in the library is Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester, worth more than $30 million. Adding to the mystery is a pivoting bookcase that reveals an entrance to a secret bar.

A Beloved Maple Tree

And finally, reportedly, there is a 40-year-old maple tree near the driveway, which Gates grew so fond of that he installed sensors and a computer to monitor the tree’s health. When the computers sense the tree is dry, water is automatically pumped to it.

Where Is the Largest House in Washington Located on a Map?

The biggest house in Washington, owned by Bill Gates, is located at 1835 73rd Ave NE in Medina. This small Seattle city is situated in the Eastside region of King County.

Located on a peninsula in Lake Washington, it is on the opposite shore from Seattle and bordered on the east by Clyde Hill and Hunts Point. In addition to Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, other billionaires and tech company leaders own homes in Medina.

What Animals Live Near Washington’s Largest House?

With plenty of parks and natural spaces, Medina provides habitat to many animals, including otters, muskrats, and bobcats. In Lake Washington, you can find many species of fish including trout, bassperch, sockeye salmon, and crappie.

Lake Washington

Medina is on a peninsula on Lake Washington and is located very close to the city of Bellevue (seen here).


Other Large Homes in Washington

Although no other houses in Washington can compare to Xanadu 2.0, Washington does have some other colossal estates. At the time of writing, this 11,271-square-foot house in Seattle is on the market for $26.5 million. Overlooking Lake Washington, images of the home show a large property set in a beautiful landscape filled with evergreens and well-maintained gardens. Every bedroom offers lake views, and a heated outdoor lodge allows for outdoor entertaining year-round.

Another impressive estate in Washington, Halftide Farms, is located on San Juan Island. Not just one home, this family compound is situated on 87 acres with five different residences. Each home is about 4,000 square feet and has a guest cottage. Originally owned by Barry Ackerley, the previous owner of the Seattle SuperSonics, the compound was used as a vacation home for his family.

Roche Harbor San Juan Island Washington Aerial View Sunset

Halftide Farms is located in San Juan Island in northwest Washington state.

©Cascade Creatives/

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Dllu / CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License / Original

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About the Author

Jennifer Geer is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on animals, news topics, travel, and weather. Jennifer holds a Master's Degree from the University of Tulsa, and she has been researching and writing about news topics and animals for over four years. A resident of Illinois, Jennifer enjoys hiking, gardening, and caring for her three pugs.

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