A Lean Cabin in Washington Dismantles the Indoor/Outdoor Divide
By day, the Chechaquo Lot 6 cabin gives the impression of floating in a forest clearing; by night, its windows glow against the wooded darkness. From all vantage points, the landscape permeates this 1,000-square-foot cabin, designed for two outdoor enthusiasts and tucked at the toe of a dramatic slope in Winthrop, Washington. "We understood that, to them, outdoor spaces were as important as interior ones," says architect Margo Peterson-Aspholm of Prentiss + Balance + Wickline Architects.
Toward this end, the retreat features spacious, terraced decks and an outdoor living space that shares a two-sided fireplace with the living room. Windows were thoughtfully placed to capture views of the mountain, its backdrop of Ponderosa pines and firs, and the meadow. The effect is intimate and secluded, yet remains open toward the terrain. "This goes both ways," says Peterson-Asphom. "One of the owners has seen a bear amble through the meadow without any concern for the little house at its edge."
To stay within a limited budget, Peterson-Aspholm used modest materials to elegant effect, creating a division between the public and private "bars" of the cabin. "We continued exterior finishes into the interior to more clearly distinguish them as separate volumes, drawn together yet held apart like magnets at the glassed-in void of the entry hall," she says. A standing seam metal roof appears to bend and continue as a wall on the shared, mountain-facing side of the house, while plywood sheaths the interiors. The meadow-facing side of the residence, which contains the private areas, has a lower eave and pronounced horizontal planes that are reinforced by horizontal tongue-and-groove siding.
Take a tour of the Lot 6 Cabin below.