2014 / Douglas fir, copper, blown glass, gessoed plywood

The design for this small cabin on Chuckanut drive in rural Northern Washington State began with a dual point of departure.

On the one hand, the majestic, heavily treed site sloping dramatically towards the pacific ocean demanded a strong siting decision. On the other hand, the proximity of one of North America’s largest reclaimed lumber yards suggested a process based investigation.

The cabin is organized as a short segment of a spiral, in some cases hugging the slope, in others pulling dramatically away from it. The spiral winds itself around two of the largest diameter tree trunks on the site.

The methodology of construction explores the possibilities of traditional log home building techniques, adapted to use reclaimed timbers and to have expressive strength at the scale of a detail, especially at corners.

Two kinds of glazing are proposed. Lining the interior of the spiral, a steel frame window wall designed to continue the modular geometry of the wood walls allows an intimate relationship to the two large trees. In contrast, windows punched in the exterior skin of the spiral are oversized, intended to propel the occupant’s experience outwards towards the sunset far over the Pacific ocean. The intent is to have the occupant’s experience toggle between the intimacy of the foreground and the transcendence of the background.

Photography by Gwenael Lewis