Architect's Cabin at Longbranch by Olson Kundig | Yellowtrace

Architect's Cabin at Longbranch by Olson Kundig | Yellowtrace

Architect's Cabin at Longbranch by Olson Kundig | Yellowtrace

Architect's Cabin at Longbranch by Olson Kundig | Yellowtrace

Architect's Cabin at Longbranch by Olson Kundig | Yellowtrace

Architect's Cabin at Longbranch by Olson Kundig | Yellowtrace

Architect's Cabin at Longbranch by Olson Kundig | Yellowtrace

Architect's Cabin at Longbranch by Olson Kundig | Yellowtrace

 

Built as a bunkhouse in the 1950’s, this timber cabin in Washington State has evolved into a snug little weekender with the help of Olson Kundig Architects. Located in an ancient forest of tall fir-trees, just over an hour away from Seattle, Jim Olson bought the cabin in 1959 as his own private getaway. Timber clad to an inch of its life and lifted into the trees, it’s a curious modernist structure that celebrates its own evolutionary development. Undergoing a series of renovations and extensions, the cabin has further incorporated local materials, expanded its floor plate and grown further into its rich forest context, resulting in the beautiful home away from home it is today.

Initially, three detached pavilions were built on the site, each housing the main living quarters of the Cabin. One pavilion for the living/kitchen space, another for the bedroom, and the last for the bathroom. As the first step in 1981, Kundig and Olson introduced a deck that linked the three pavilions together. In 2003 a new roofline was added that covered the deck and extended the main living pavilion, encompassing the existing bedroom pavilion and a new bathroom. In 2014 a double height wing was added that significantly extended the house’s footprint. Including another kitchen, bathroom and a separate master bedroom with its own private deck space. Evolving from a cluster of pavilions into a more linear and homogenous layout, these transitions are clearly expressed in the spatial experience of the house, its materiality and its façade.

 

Related Post: Stories On Design // Sheds, Cabins & Retreats.

 

Architect's Cabin at Longbranch by Olson Kundig | Yellowtrace

Architect's Cabin at Longbranch by Olson Kundig | Yellowtrace

Architect's Cabin at Longbranch by Olson Kundig | Yellowtrace

 

Celebrating its context through the use of simple, readily available materials, the cabin is largely sheathed internally, and externally, in plywood and recycled boards. Supported by a series of steel columns, an exposed timber roof structure floats above a timber deck and floor.

Effortlessly moving between interior and exterior, local timbers are used in conjunction with full-height glazing to dissolve the boundary between the cabin’s interiority and the forest. Whilst its deck wraps three nearby fir trees, this ever-evolving weekender does well to enhance the natural wonder of its place, every step of the way.

 

Related Post: Stories On Design // Sheds, Cabins & Retreats.

 

 


[Image courtesy of Olson Kundig. Photography Kevin Scott & Benjamin Benschneider.]

 

About The Author

Samuel Dowleysmith
Contributor

Originally from Melbourne, Sam is a design-crazed architect currently living and working in Copenhagen, Denmark. Nuts for all things futurist and technology based, he is super interested in the evolving relationship between design/ architecture and the process of industrialised production - probably derived from childhood ambitions to make his own, personalised R2D2. Totally crazy about concepts like self-assembling architectures, Sam gets an unreal kick out of trying to understand the complexities behind any design. In his limited, non-design time he is currently learning Danish and practicing it shamelessly with the poor coffee barista down the road twice a day, every day.

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