Inspiring Writer’s Cabin on San Juan Islands

This unique cabin is only 500 square feet, designed by Olson Kundig Architects on False Bay, San Juan Islands in Washington State. The cottage serves as a private writer’s retreat and guest cottage. The owners requested to have a space that would feel totally connected to the natural landscape, which would enable them to take full advantage of the mild climate, scenic views and the proximity to wildlife. They also needed the structure to be easily secured when not in use.

The cabin was designed as a glass house surrounded by three wooden slat decks which can be raised by a hydraulic system of winches, wire rope, pivoting sheaves and lead blocks, which can be raised to serve as shutters, completely closing off the cabin. When they are open, the shutter-decks serve as an outdoor living space, connecting to the interior with 10 foot tall windows and sliding doors. The interior fireplace rotates 180 degrees to be enjoyed indoor or out. An inverted roof with deep overhangs forces water to drain to the rear of the cabin.

The interior of the cabin is a small living space featuring a Murphy bed and desk space, with a modest back-of-cabin area housing a small bathroom and kitchenette. Finishes are restrained, punctuated only by a blackened steel floor inlay that bisects the cabin. A rack attached to the back of the cabin organizes the owner’s kayaks. Via

Visit the website of Olson Kundig Architects here.

Photos:  Tim Bies


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