John Granen

Simplicity suits woodsy setting

Sunset  – January 23, 2006

“It’s a rustic yet elegant nature-viewing platform – like a small park lodge.”
– jury comment

MERIT AWARD, Cutler Anderson Architects, Bainbridge Island, WA
This house impressed the jury because its almost iconic form and elemental palette of materials – a simple wood-and-glass gable rising out of a stairstepping platform of rustic stone – so perfectly suit the forested setting. It recalls Northwest park architecture of the early 20th century.

On the site of an old family cabin that had collapsed, the house occupies a clearing on a ledge overlooking Washington’s Sequim Bay. The owners asked for a design that preserved their privacy while taking advantage of water views. The architect devised an L-shaped plan; the long leg of the L contains the main living spaces facing the water and resembles a large gabled lantern; the short leg contains the garage and a recreation room. Near the junction of the two wings – and accessible from the kitchen – is a stone-paved patio complete with a fireplace. It functions as the summer living room and shares views of the water from behind a stone parapet.

Inside, the warm honey tones of wood floors, beams, ceilings, and cabinetry are set off by white walls. Interior clerestory windows allow one space to borrow light from another. As one juror observed, “It’s an organic response to the site and brings nature into sharper focus.”

ARCHITECT: (206) 842-4710