A Mesmerizing Cabin in Puget Sound Evolves Over Several Decades
In 1959, when Jim Olson of the celebrated Seattle firm Olson Kundig was 18 years old and a first-year architecture student, his father gave him $500 and told him to go build a bunkhouse. Choosing the same forested land as his grandparents' summer cottage in the Puget Sound, young Olson embarked on his first project. Sadly, his grandparents' cottage was destroyed by a fire in the 1960s, but Olson's bunkhouse has remained. What began as a 200-square-foot structure has slowly evolved over the years with each remodel integrating the previous iteration instead of erasing it.
A continual work in progress, each renovation has addressed the changing priorities of its designer: first, the structure was a bunkhouse for his friends; then, an experimental weekend retreat for a young family; and now, a quiet getaway that can accommodate both the architect's creative work and visits from his grandchildren, extended family, and friends. The Cabin in Longbranch and its transformation has become a documentation of the architect's illustrious career—what has remained unchanged over the years, however, is Olson’s deep reverence for the special site and its natural beauty.
Get carefully curated content filled with inspiring homes from around the world, innovative new products, and the best in modern design
Shop the Look
Architect of Record: Olson Kundig , Jim Olson, FAIA
Builder/General Contractor: Tom Harris (1981); Steve Clark (1997); Mark Ambler (2003, 2014)
Structural Engineer: MCE Structural Consultants (2003, 2014)
Lighting Design: Brian Hood Lighting Design (2003, 2014)
Interior Design: Olson Kundig , Jim Olson, FAIA