Eagle Point

Friday Harbor, Washington
  • Friday Harbor, Washington
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Year
  • 2011
  • Square Feet
  • 715
  • Lot Size
  • 5 acres
  • Bedrooms
  • 1
  • Full Baths
  • 1
  • This project page was created by community member Prentiss + Balance + Wickline Architects

    Living in beauty, without excess.

    Fine materials and products were sparingly used to create a dwelling that sits lightly and unobtrusively in the landscape. The result of careful allocation of resources and rigorous design decisions is a solid, secure, energy-efficient example of living well without excess.

    We had previously done a smaller (400 sq. ft.) studio home for the client in a more populated part of San Juan Island, but she desired something more removed from the crush of summer tourists and purchased a remote piece of West-side property. This new house includes a separate bedroom and a minimal basement for storage and laundry. Its solar gain in the winter is significant enough that the client almost never uses the radiant heaters or wood stove. Eight-inch walls with formaldehyde-free insulation and a thickened living roof make for a consistent climate inside. The client encouraged a number of sustainable considerations such as recycled flooring and ceiling, an on-demand hot-water heater and triple glazing on all north-facing windows. The cedar siding is allowed to age naturally, a lower-maintenance and more natural look that blends into the landscape.

    The site is rugged and windswept and in the recent decades the surrounding area has become populated with numerous summer houses which have almost no cover of vegetation. The goal for this project was to situate the house such that the occupant could take in the magnificent site but not be aware of the neighboring residences. Because this is the client’s primary residence, it was also an asset to nestle the structure into a site protected from extreme winter weather. The narrow path from the parking area twists over rock formations and between low-hanging Douglas fir branches and clumps of Snowberry. There are no imposing materials and no gravel or paving; it is approached by a path a deer might have made.

    The green roof blends this small home into the gentle slope of the five-acre lot, sheltering it from the wind while showcasing the spectacular view once inside.

    The sunny, view-focused living room encourages a life of quiet reflection.

    The design maximizes storage and minimizes visual clutter.

    Natural light and views make small spaces feel large: there is no need to sacrifice principles or beauty here.

    Posted By
    Prentiss + Balance + Wickline Architects
    Prentiss Wickline Architects and Balance Associates Architects have combined. At the core of both firms is the pursuit of balance: between natural and built environments, between a client’s vision and real world parameters, between beauty and utility. Working together, we offer a richer and broader practice, continuing the highly personalized experience that both our prior firms have come to be known for. We are proud of our expanded knowledge base and network, and ultimately, we believe PBW will enable us to bring new insights and better solutions to our clients and the world of design. We design with the belief that nothing is impossible, and temper it with good old-fashioned pragmatism, embracing both big ideas and intricate details. Taking into account location, context, and other inherent attributes of a specific project, we strive to create a balanced whole, integrating the structure and the environment. We consider the interplay between inside and outside, light and shadow, aesthetics and utility, carefully selecting materials that harmonize with nature, prioritizing efficiency and sustainability. Most importantly, we look for opportunities to bring joy and unanticipated delight into the spaces we create as well as into the process that gets us there. This should be fun— after all, we are building dreams.
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