Text description provided by the architects. Located in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, the 10 acre site contrasts between gently rolling fields that abruptly terminate in a 100-foot-high bluff that drops to the water’s edge below. The juxtaposition between these two conditions led to the architectural concept.
High westerly winds from the water blow against the bluff concentrating forces at the top. The house mediates this force by creating a wind break. Stretching along the bluff are the living areas, the entry porch and the garage. This north/south oriented wing is highly glazed to take advantage of the long range views over the bluff to the islands.
In contrast, the private functions of the house, the bedrooms and guest rooms stretch east/west opening to protected garden areas and a terrace created on the leeward side. Doors open onto a south facing continuous porch with glazed roof. This area has been designed to take advantage of passive solar heating in the winter while providing shading during the summer months.
At the juncture of the house is a two-story tower element which contains an art studio and office space. A solar hot water array on the roof provides domestic hot water and augments the hot water hydronic floor heating.