Orcas Island, Washington

Elegant lean-to
Merit Award: Vacation house

Dixon and Ruthanne Long wanted to inhabit a private wooden "sculpture" with protected water views.

Why it won: The building is pared down to its essential parts - roof, supports, and enclosure. It resembles a graceful lean-to, with a long, angled roof held up indoors by a series of massive tripods of peeled Western red cedar logs. A wall of glass makes the house almost disappear into the forested hillside, and allows for an unobstructed view of ferries moving through Puget Sound. "The one word that (architect) James Cutler used for this building was transparency," says Dixon Long. "We never imagined the drama."

Design: Cutler Anderson Architects, Bainbridge Island, WA (206/842-4710)