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Tiny modern cabin features glass walls on the San Juan Islands

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This tiny modern cabin of just 500 square feet was designed by Olson Kundig Architects, located on False Bay, San Juan Islands in northwest 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.

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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.

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What We Love: This tiny modern cabin is completely connected to the surrounding natural landscape thanks to walls of glass. An innovative design that captures everything one could need when retreating for some much needed rest and relaxation. We love how the home is fully enclosed when the homeowner’s are not there to protect the home from the elements and for security… Readers, would you feel comfortable vacationing in this compact retreat? Let us know why or why not in the Comments!

Note: Have a look at a couple of our favorite home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of Olson Kundig Architects: Waterfront retreat built for entertaining on the San Juan Islands and Minimalist live/work space on the Catalonian coast of Spain.

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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.

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Photos: Tim Bies / Benjamin Benschneider

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