Lagerquist & Morris AIA
5135 Ballard Ave NW Seattle, WA 98107Phone: (206)789-7611Fax: (206)
Exterior | Interior | Details | Construction

This project is situated on a high west-facing ridge on San Juan Island in Washington State. The landscape is typical of many rural sites in the San Juan Islands consisting of open woodlands of mature Douglas fir, cedar and madrone with outcroppings of rock, mosses and native grasses. The owners wanted the house and studio to be separated from each other by a short walking distance. They wanted the house to nestle up to a grove of madrone on the north and take advantage of the views to the south and west towards the Olympic Mountains and Vancouver Island. The land slopes down to the south where they wanted to locate a garden and orchard. The studio would be located down the slope to the east next to a mixed grove of firs and madrone. The access road and parking were to be left in as primitive a state as possible where over time only two beaten down dirt tracks would be visible.

The House:

The house has 1300 SF of living space on the main level with a 200 SF sun/sleeping porch at the west end. The upper floor has 650 SF of living space and consists of a master bedroom, master bath and dressing areas. The main level has a large open plan where the kitchen, dining and living areas flow into one another. The plan allows the main level to function as a gallery for the papier-mâché sculptures that the owner creates in the studio. The entry, laundry and main level bath are located three steps up from the living/dining area and follow the slope in the topography. The interior of the house is mostly painted white surfaces except for the high quality wood windows and trim, and the cabinetry, that are all constructed of vertical grain Douglas fir. The exterior of the house has red oxide stained wood shingles with weathered gray stained trim and eaves. The 3’ and 4’ eaves consist of 2 x 4 rafters and purlins, which support the corrugated natural zinc roofing. The roofing panels are exposed to view from below and provide an inexpensive soffit. The house has a hot water radiant heating system and exposed concrete floors.

The Studio:

The 685 SF studio is constructed in the same manner as the house. The window placement was particularly important to the artist who wanted even light from every direction and good natural light especially during our rather dreary winters. The studio has a sleeping loft and a shower bath and functions as a guesthouse when needed. A small meadow has been carved out of the forest to the east of the studio to balance the views from inside.