Idyllic Home Designed for an Artist

In the remote San Juan Islands, an artist and an architect collaborate on a modern residence dedicated to creative pursuits.
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A single-lane road winds its way up a densely wooded hillside to artist Richard Brothers’s home on Orcas Island, Washington. Dappled light and tendrils of fog filter through alder trees. It’s quiet except for the occasional sound of a car’s tires crunching on the gravel underneath. Then, after a sharp turn up a precipitous driveway, the road opens onto a rocky plateau topped by a long, lean house silhouetted against the sky. It’s as if the earth decided to produce an object of art to sit on this hilltop plinth, which was exactly the intent. As architect Michelle Linden says, "It is a site-specific, life-size sculpture."

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