Launch Slideshow

The cabins exterior skin will be allowed to weather naturally. Its back wall is made of rammed earth.

Salt Spring Island Cabin

Salt Spring Island Cabin

  • The cabins exterior skin will be allowed to weather naturally. Its back wall is made of rammed earth.

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    The cabins exterior skin will be allowed to weather naturally. Its back wall is made of rammed earth.

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    Tim Bies

    The cabin's exterior skin will be allowed to weather naturally. Its back wall is made of rammed earth.

  • The sliding door opens the window wall to views and ventilation.

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    The sliding door opens the window wall to views and ventilation.

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    Tim Bies

    The sliding door opens the window wall to views and ventilation.

  • The sliding door also closes partway for privacy. A wood stove provides heat, and a propane tank supplies on-demand hot water.

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    The sliding door also closes partway for privacy. A wood stove provides heat, and a propane tank supplies on-demand hot water.

    600

    Tim Bies

    The sliding door also closes partway for privacy. A wood stove provides heat, and a propane tank supplies on-demand hot water.

  • The cabin becomes virtually impenetrable when the owner is away.

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    The cabin becomes virtually impenetrable when the owner is away.

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    Tim Bies

    The cabin becomes virtually impenetrable when the owner is away.

  • Cedar lining the interior came from a trestle bridge on nearby Vancouver Island.

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    Cedar lining the interior came from a trestle bridge on nearby Vancouver Island.

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    Tim Bies

    Cedar lining the interior came from a trestle bridge on nearby Vancouver Island.

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    Courtesy Olson Kundig Architects

    The plan.

  • A low retaining wall brings rustic order to the previously disturbed site.

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    A low retaining wall brings rustic order to the previously disturbed site.

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    Tim Bies

    A low retaining wall brings rustic order to the previously disturbed site.

olson kundig architects, seattle

In Tom Kundig’s hands, a weekend cabin isn’t just a cabin, but a metaphor for something else. Here it’s a hard shell with a soft, cozy center.

The one-room interior is wrapped in wood, and what caught the judges’ attention was the steel panel that slides across the window wall, securing the solitary structure when the owner is away. One found poetry in “the idea of this shell that you peel back when you’re in the house.” Another noted that closing the door “is a viscerally felt activity that makes you feel what it’s like to be there and then go away.”

The panel—operated by hand like a barn door—is commodity steel pulled off a stack before fabrication. Kundig, FAIA, let the lettering stand as “an authentic mark of its history and in the spirit of allowing materials to age naturally with no ‘protective’ coating that needs maintenance.”


Project Credits
principal in charge / project architect: Tom Kundig, FAIA, Olson Kundig Architects, http://www.olsonkundigarchitects.com/
general contractor: Withheld
construction cost: Withheld
photography: Tim Bies

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