The challenge of this home was to create a nature-oriented getaway for fishing, writing, gardening, and welcoming grandkids on a steep slope overlooking the Clearwater River, while keeping the setting as pristine as possible.
Why it won: Its simple outline and rustic materials echo the shape and character of the rural surroundings. The house is a straightforward, rectangular, galvanized sheet metal-clad box inserted into an earthquake-resistant timber frame; the shed roof follows the angle of the slope, and the footprint of the house is minimal because rooms overlap as they stairstep down the slope. Views are of the canyon and eagles fishing for steelhead in the river below.
Design: Paul Hirzel Architect, Pullman, WA (509/335-1373)