“The buildings recall the agricultural forms of the local built environment, but as is our nature in our designs, we sought to take that context and evolve it to a more emphatic modern language. We sought to design something that was exquisitely proportioned in a quiet, agricultural way.” –Tom Kundig
This artist retreat, designed by Olson Kundig of Seattle, is located on 18 acres of rural agricultural property in Trout Lake, Washington just steps from White Salmon River. Both owners are artists who incorporate the natural landscape into their work – he is a painter and photographer, and she is a textile artist and designer. A key directive in the design of their new home was that it connect them to the surrounding landscape and maximize opportunities for indoor/outdoor living. It was also important for them to have studio space that was separate from the house, but related in form and materiality. All four buildings recall the forms of vernacular agricultural structures, and incorporate tough and low-maintenance building materials with minimal finishes such as concrete, plywood and steel. Wood siding on the main house was milled locally and weathered by the owners themselves. Corrugated metal roofing was also rusted by the owners.
The retreat contains four distinct buildings arranged in two groupings. The first grouping contains the main house, a woodworking shop, and a carport all contained under a single roof in a T-shape. A covered courtyard connects the three spaces in the middle of the “T”. A separate, free-standing artist studio is located just northeast of the main house, with a covered patio that connects to a guest room. Here, the owners work on their own projects, and occasionally host retreats and community-based arts workshops. In all four buildings, large bi-folding doors and sliding barn doors open up the spaces completely to the outdoors, allowing for the movement of large artworks and equipment, as well as an intimate connection with the environment.
The main house is minimal in form, consisting of a single double height volume with an open plan living, dining and kitchen area separated from a library by a double-sided fireplace. A set of hidden steel stairs nestled into the concrete fireplace lead to a loft above the library. The home’s single bedroom is located above the bathroom and mudroom and is accessed via a set of open stairs in the entry foyer. Two sets of 30-foot-long bi-fold doors in the main living space allow the home to open completely on both sides, maximizing the home’s sweeping views of the nearby river and Mount Adams.
Photography Jeremy Bitterman
Location: Trout Lake, Washington
Home is 6,594 sf
St. Paddy’s Day is definitely an homage to Ireland, but there’s no denying that it also pays tribute to something a little more universal – booze. And while you may be thinking “What the heck does alcohol have to do with green design?” there are actually a keg’s worth of hooch-related eco innovations out there that you might not know about yet.
TINY IRISH PUB ON WHEELS
When Irish cabinetmaker John Walsh decided to convert his rusty old caravan into a tiny pub, the world’s most charming St. Patrick’s Day hotspot was born. The Shebeen is literally translated into “an illicit bar where alcohol is sold illegally.” The mobile booze cruiser was so popular in Ireland, the people of Boston commissioned another one to be brought to the states.
ARCHITECT BUIILDS HIS OUSE OUT OF 8,500 BEER BOTTLES
This brings new meaning to the song 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall. Aspiring architect in Chongqing city, China designed and constructed his very own office with 8,500 recycled beer bottles. The impressive upcycled structure gets its sturdy foundation from 40 layers of beer bottles. The entire construction took four months and $11,000 to complete.
A BEER BOTTLE THAT DOUBLES AS BRICK
Have your brick and drink it too? Famed beer brewer Alfred Heineken and Dutch architect John Habraken came out with their Heineken WOBO (world bottle) brick all the way back in 1963, but the principle behind it still rings true today. As you probably already guessed, the idea behind the boozy brick was that thirsty people could drink their fix of beer from the WOBO and reuse it to build structures. Cheers to that.
A PAVILION MADE OF 33,000 BEER CRATES
It must have taken a lot of frat parties to empty out the 33,000 yellow beer crates that architects SHSH stacked atop one another to create this intoxicating pavilion. Using the crates like giant legos, the design features interesting architectural touches like columns, arches and even domes inside.
In a recent post I gushed about my obsession with blue velvet and it just wasn’t going away so I decided to do something about it. Enter an old worn out but very comfortable chair that has been the favorite lounging spot for no less than 3 dogs along with numerous humanoids. Not one to let it go to waste, I decided to reupholster it in none other than a vintage blue velvet. Seattle has many wonderful places to shop but is very lackluster when it comes to fabric stores. Somebody please open a fabric warehouse, but I digress. This minor hitch gave me the perfect reason to visit MOOD in LA and lucky me I got there 15 minutes before they closed knowing exactly what I was looking for. Not realizing how huge it was I could have spent an entire day perusing the place if it weren’t for my single-mined journey to find the perfect blue velvet; albeit an affordable one.
These images are before photos. A couple of things I discovered about the reupholstery business is; as a profession they are in decline but the flip side to that is the ones who are still in it have a long backlog of work to do and it’s not something you can “speed up”. My chair is at least 8-10 out before I can post after photos unless I get lucky and find someone who can do it sooner than later. I am so excited to see the end result.
I had the pleasure of touring the new Bullitt Center
tonight with other members of the IIDA. Kudos to
Robert Pena, an architecture professor at the UW
and consultant for the Integrated Design Lab, for
leading the group.
The Bullitt Center is the greenest commercial
building in the world. Hopefully it starts a trend.
Students and members of IIDA
Solar panel roof overhang
These exterior “blinds” open and close according
to the level of sunlight. When we arrived they were
closed; as the sun was setting a short time later
they automatically opened to allow more light
into the space.
View from the fourth floor window