In San Juan Islands, an archipelago in the state of Washington, the team of the firm Olson Kundig imagined a house with large sliding shutters. Inspired by the island’s agrarian terroir, its neutral palette highlights both the environment that welcomes it and the art that it shelters.
Perched high above the Strait of Haro, this San Juan Islands residence has unique, equally splendid views of the Olympic Mountains. Wishing to maximize these panoramas, while minimizing the house’s environmental footprint, Olson Kundig relies on his innovative talent. At the entrance, the 4,5-meter-high door pivots entirely on a two-storey, glass-fronted space overlooking the sea. Here, in a cleverly compact plan, are the living and dining rooms. Light and temperature are regulated there naturally, thanks to the external sliding shutters. These wooden structures extend 6 meters towards the roof of the building, while covering the entire length of its western facade. This method of control is accentuated by the generous advance of the gable roof, whose character reflects the architectural history of the region. Inside, the materials are kept simple – wood, concrete and steel – for two reasons: to respect the ecologically sound spirit of the building and to highlight the owner’s works of art. These, including creations by local artists, such as Amir Zaki, Paul Jacoulet and Andrew Moore, are honored by the interior design company Geremia, responsible for the entire decor. The key is a home with contemporary furniture, which invites you to contemplate the genius of man and the splendor of nature.