Decatur Island - 2006
This San Juan Islands retreat is based on the idea of camp. It provides places to come together as a family and ways of retreating into small personal spaces. The main house has four public spaces arranged along a central axis – the kitchen, dining room, living room, and den. Behind these more generous spaces are a fireplace inglenook, mud room, laundry, office, and bath. Interior walls are clad in solid wood paneling painted a warm custom white color to reflect light deep into interior spaces. Full height windows capture views beyond, and glass doors illuminate passageways and corridors within spaces. Deep porches extend life outdoors, providing shelter from seasonal rain—a place to celebrate life in the Pacific Northwest’s temperate climate.
Other buildings in the compound include a master cabin, writer’s hut, guest cabin, barn, and picnic shelter. With the exception of the barn, the buildings are located along a contour of the sloped site and connected between and through the buildings by a continuous path.
The picnic pavilion is heavy timber and stone masonry structure that provides a gathering place to celebrate rural island life and relax with family and friends. This building is situated a bit lower on the hill from the other residential buildings and acts as the terminus of the compound’s circulation trails. The heavy timber structure was designed to evoke the timelessness and craftsmanship of historical National Park structures from the WPA era, and was constructed from timber harvested on the island. The approach to the pavilion is along the long axis and with the raised hearth, the fireplace is welcoming and easily visible upon approach. The hearth is a continuous poured concrete slab that wraps the structure as a stone supported bench. The pavilion’s cross axis balances a hot tub nestled into a grotto on the uphill side, and a view opening to the sloped meadow and bay beyond on the other side.