Robert M. Gurney designed this jewel box of a pavilion for a jewel of a site: a suburban backyard that abuts a preserved woodland. Conceived as a lithesome counterpart to the brick house, the pavilion sits close to the woods, providing a threshold between the natural and manicured landscape. “Its relationship to the house, swimming pool, and landscape components was as important as the building itself,” Gurney says.

The low-pitched stainless steel roof floats above a dry-stacked stone wall and a mahogany box housing the mechanical equipment and bath. Frameless glass walls and five pivoting, steel-framed glass doors both enclose the space and open it to the outdoors. Citing the play of geometric forms and clean use of wood, a judge dubbed this a “modern interpretation of the shed.”

Entrant/Architect: Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect, Washington, D.C.; Project architect: John Riordan, Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect; Builder: Peterson + Collins, Washington; Living space: 475 square feet; Site: 0.50 acre; Construction cost: Withheld; Photographer: Maxwell MacKenzie.

Resources: Bathroom fittings: Vola,; Doors: Hope’s,; Garbage disposer: Insinkerator,; Hardware: Hafele,; Kitchen fittings: Vola,; Kitchen fixtures: KWC,; Refrigerator: Sub-Zero,