Cabin in Longbranch

Longbranch, Washington
Location
  • Longbranch, Washington
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Type
  • Modern
  • Jim Olson’s reverence for nature and admiration of the site’s beauty is expressed in the design of this project located on Puget Sound and nestled amidst the towering fir trees of an ancient forest. What began as a 14-foot-square bunk house built in 1959 has morphed through subsequent remodels in 1981, 1997, 2003 and 2014 into a modest yet highly livable weekend retreat. Each successive addition and remodel has reused and integrated the previous structure rather than erasing it to reveal the cabin's architectural history.

    At the age of eighteen, Olson began work on a bunkhouse for his family in Longbranch. Since then, he has continued to expand the small structure into both a private retreat and a touch point for his work worldwide.

    The cabin is intentionally subdued in color and texture, allowing the lush natural surroundings to take precedence. Simple, readily available materials are used throughout: wood-framed walls are sheathed in plywood both inside and out; doubled pairs of steel columns support glulam beams that, in turn, support an exposed roof structure; and interior fir flooring becomes outdoor decking with additional spacing.

    The rooms themselves are essentially a set of boxes set underneath a unifying roof; together, they create a single form that is grounded onto the hillside and projects out over the landscape. The living room’s large 11’ x 13’ window not only frames the view of the adjoining meadow and Puget Sound but visually blends the indoors and outdoors.

    Strategically placed sliding doors, windows and a domed skylight over the bed provide constant contact with nature. The design accommodates three mature trees that have been allowed to grow through openings in the deck, one of which exits through an opening in the roof.

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    Modern home with outdoor, woodland, and slope. Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig Photo  of Cabin in Longbranch

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig

    Modern home with grass, back yard, shrubs, trees, exterior, and house. Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig Photo 2 of Cabin in Longbranch

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig Photo 3 of Cabin in Longbranch modern home

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig

    Modern home with outdoor, back yard, woodland, walkways, and shrubs. Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig Photo 4 of Cabin in Longbranch

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig

    Modern home with living room, chair, and sofa. Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig Photo 5 of Cabin in Longbranch

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig

    Modern home with living room, coffee tables, chair, and bench. Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig Photo 6 of Cabin in Longbranch

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig Photo 7 of Cabin in Longbranch modern home

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig

    Modern home with bedroom and bed. Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig Photo 8 of Cabin in Longbranch

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig

    Modern home with living room, chair, end tables, floor lighting, and concrete floor. Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig Photo 9 of Cabin in Longbranch

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig Photo 10 of Cabin in Longbranch modern home

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig

    Modern home with bath room, undermount sink, and granite counter. Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig Photo 11 of Cabin in Longbranch

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig Photo 12 of Cabin in Longbranch modern home

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig

    Modern home with outdoor and small patio, porch, deck. Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig Photo 13 of Cabin in Longbranch

    Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig