Bringing the landscape home on San Juan Island

While Bill and Karin Agosta may be Manhattan transplants, they’re not your average urbanites. Before building on their forest-edged meadow on San Juan Island, Washington, the couple camped on it several times. And despite a Thanksgiving when their drinking water froze-and “all we could do was huddle in our sleeping bags with every stitch of clothing on,” laughs Karin-they fell in love with the physical beauty of the island and its active, nature-oriented lifestyle. Shortly after they bought the land, the couple turned over 10 acres to the San Juan Preservation Trust, ensuring that a portion of their property would be kept forever wild.

The Agostas, who are passionate about environmental conservation, wanted a home that would celebrate its sublime natural setting. With its distinctive angled profile and wide glass walls, the 2,750-square-foot house-designed by Patkau Architects, a Northwest firm known for environmentally sensitive building-does just that.