Dwelling on the Boundary
Cabins allow people an experience of site not typically found in their primary residences. Extending across natural boundaries, this dwelling offers a particularly unique experience of site. While the client for this residence is theoretical, the site and architectural goals remain physical: to facilitate an experience focused upon the quintessential qualities of the site.
Located on a mostly undeveloped island in Northwest Washington’s San Juan Island archipelago, the site is characterized by a large arboreal mass pulled away from jagged geologic stone formations plunging into a placid harbor. These physical qualities are distilled into elements which compose the parti of the intervention. The bare stone shore is terraced to create a series of interior and exterior spaces, blurring the distinction between architecture and the site itself.
An exterior space, elevated slightly above high tide elevation, allows visitors a level threshold into the interior living area of the cabin. A short flight of steps transitions to a more private sleeping area. Additional exterior areas extend through a large flight of stairs onto a stone promontory with fireplace slightly sunken beneath the jagged shoreline crest.
Thin slabs of flush stone clad the floor and hillside wall to highlight the carved geologic void. The cabin’s thick timber structure is expressed in the ceiling and exterior envelope. Vertical wood louvers clad the exterior, allowing users to open and manipulate the envelope in response to changing environmental conditions.