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Sustainable retreat nestled atop a small mountain on San Juan Island

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Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects is responsible for the design of this sustainable retreat nestled on the top of a small mountain on San Juan Island in Washington’s Puget Sound. This 2,800 square foot retreat combines the owner’s desire for privacy with their desire to experience the landscape and expansive views to the east, south, and west. The three separate forms (sleeping cabin, the main house, and guest house) complement one another both spatially and through the use of materials.

The idea of being ‘one’ with the natural environment was essential, accomplished in part by using natural materials that reflect the unique site and the Northwest region. The use of wood was a key component, from structural members to exterior siding and interior details. It enhances the feeling of warmth in the spaces and directly connects them to the landscape, an essential element in the design.

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Detailing in the spaces uses clean lines, natural materials, and brings in plenty of natural light. The retreat was designed with environmental sensitivity in mind: well-sited structures, sod roofs, and a concrete fireplace (thermal mass) all reflect best practice solar design principles.

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What We Love: This sustainable retreat is nestled on a stunning site offering privacy and tranquility. We are loving the concept of this home, splitting it into three sections to best take advantage of the site. With walkways connecting each structure, this encourages indoor-outdoor living. Walls in the kitchen fold away to extend this space to an outdoor room with a fireplace, allowing the owners to enjoy this room throughout the seasons. 

Tell Us: What are your overall thoughts on the design of this home? Would this be your idea of the ultimate vacation getaway? Let us know in the Comments!

Note: Have a look below for the “Related” tags for more fabulous home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of the architects of this project, Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects.

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Photos: Michael Skott

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Greg Lange
6 months ago

The home does visually blend well with the environment but I see a lot of concrete used in this “sustainable”home. We all know that concrete has one of the highest net embodied energy cost of any building material. Might want to rethink the sustainable claim.

Don Bailey
6 months ago
Reply to  Greg Lange

Dear sir, I am a builder and concrete is in fact a “sustainable material”. It produces minimal waste, retains stormwater, its energy-efficient, durable and renewable. Fantastic house, one of my client’s just directed me to this home for building something similar.

Huyot
6 months ago

Bonjour
Combien coute cette merveille ?