If there's one material Tom Kundig of Seattle firm Olson Kundig Architects is known for deploying in his projects, it's steel. Whether polished to a spectacular luster or left to weather with the elements, used as a structural support or applied as a refined accent, steel has the flexibility to be used in myriad ways. "Steel is just such a terrific material," Kundig says. "Virtually all of my projects have some sort of steel involved and hopefully, if I'm doing my job, I'm using it appropriately." Explore the following Kundig projects below.
Rolling Huts (Winthrop, United States)
A series of six modernist huts created by Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects, the Rolling Huts look like rustic case study homes, a herd of designer cabins that just may exemplify the term 'glamping.' Elevated on stilts, the 200-square-foot structures offer another level of outdoor accommodation.
Photos by Chad Kirkpatrick
Architecture by Jim Olson
Berkshire Residence by Olson Kundig principal Tom Kundig. The main level of the house was raised about ten feet above the ground, partly to maximize the views, but also to get up above the humidity and insects in the summertime, and the snow in the winter. www.olsonkundig.com/pro...
Delta Shelter, a cabin getaway on the same property as the Rolling Huts. We visited the owner and his wife during one of our visits to get an in-person reference for Tanner Construction. It was wonderful to see the house in person after drooling over it in the pages of Tom Kundig: Houses. Photo by Tim Bies.
Architects: Kirsten Murray, Tom Kundig
Set in Washington's remote Methow Valley, the Studhorse House rests on a 20-acre site that is nestled in the northern portion of the 60-mile long glacial valley. The buildings are arranged to frame carefully composed views of the surrounding Studhorse Ridge and Pearrygin Lake. Design Principal, Tom Kundig.
On San Juan island, Pole Pass is an intimate waterfront retreat built to serve as a gathering space that takes advantage of the temperate Pacific Northwest summers.
The Pierre by Olson Kundig Architects: An elegant, brutalist building is integrated into the surrounding rocky landscape. Photo by Benjamin Benschneider.
At just 350 square feet, this remote cabin with a view for the Sol Duc River sits on stilts to protect it from flooding and the dampness of the northwestern rainforest. Its shutters can be operated manually by custom steel rods.
Montecito Residence - Tom Kundig / Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects
In Seattle's rapidly developing South Lake Union neighborhood, the Art Stable is a classic example of urban infill. Built on the site of a former horse stable, the seven-story mixed-use building carries its history into the future with highly adaptable live/work units.
Olson Kundig Architects created Studhorse in Washington's remote Methow Valley as four structures oriented around a central courtyard, each positioned to best enjoy the surrounding vistas in all four seasons.
"The Herd" as they are often referred to, sit out in the open in breathtaking scenery. Tanner Construction collaborated with Tom Kundig on the project for the same client who commissioned Delta Shelter. As the story goes, the rolling huts were zoned for an RV park so Kundig put them on steel wheels to swerve around the local building code. Photo by Tim Bies.
The galleries feature sliding sun screens made from Richlite, a sustainable material that is made locally from recycled paper, organic fiber, and phenolic resin.
This 1,000 square-foot weekend cabin in Mazama, Washington, is essentially a "steel box on stilts," according to the firm. The three-story structure, which includes a living room and kitchen, can be completely shuttered when the owner is away.
Anna Hoover, founder of the non-profit First Light Alaska, sought a "thought refuge, a room with a view to sit and contemplate future projects and reflect on recent travels and interactions, plenty of ‘headspace’—tall ceilings—and the ability to host other artists for studio time," she says. A longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Hoover was familiar with the work of Olson Kundig and contacted the Seattle-based firm to design her abode.
Delta Shelter, designed by Tom Kundig. Photo by Tim Bies, Olson Kundig Architects.
Rolling Huts by Olson Kundig
There are a lot reasons to follow Olson Kundig on Instagram. One of them is their seminal Rolling Huts project.
The cantilevered sleeping loft posed a structural challenge. "The structure is simple, however we explored a number of options for supporting the cantilevered loft," Eerkes says. "But after comparing costs for large trusses versus a big glulam beam—including labor costs for construction of each—the simplicity of a two-foot glulam beam won out. The steel rod cross bracing provided lateral stability in the longitudinal direction."