The Pierre

Washington
This project page was created by community member Olson Kundig

The owner’s affection for a stone outcropping on her property and the views from its peak inspired the design of this house. Conceived as a bunker nestled into the rock, the Pierre, the French word for stone, celebrates the materiality of the site. From certain angles, the house – with its rough materials, encompassing stone, green roof and surrounding foliage – almost disappears into nature.

To set the house deep into the site, portions of the rock outcropping were excavated using a combination of machine work and handwork. The contractor used large drills to set the outline of the building, then used dynamite, hydraulic chippers, a selection of wire saws and other hand tools, working with finer and finer implements as construction progressed. Excavated rock was re-used as crushed aggregate in the concrete flooring. Excavation marks were left exposed on all the stonework, a reminder of the building process.

With the exception of a separate guest suite, the Pierre functions on one main level, with an open plan kitchen, dining and living space. A wood-clad storage box (made with siding reclaimed from a Lionel Pries-designed house) transitions from outside to inside the house. Its two large bookcases open to provide concealed access to laundry and kitchen storage. A large pivoting steel and glass door opens for access to an outdoor terrace. Set at a right angle to the main spaces, a master suite features a custom designed bed with a leather headboard and footboard set in the middle of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

Throughout the house, the rock extrudes into the space, contrasting with the luxurious textures of the furnishings. Interior and exterior fireplace hearths are carved out of existing stone; leveled on top, they are otherwise left raw. The master bathroom’s sink is composed of water cascading through three polished pools in the existing stone. Off the main space, a powder room is fully carved out of the rock. A skytube runs through to the top of the rock and is topped by glass. A mirror set within the tube serves as a focal point, reflecting natural light into the space and connecting to a forged bronze sink.

Project Team:
Tom Kundig, FAIA, Design Principal; Chris Gerrick, LEED® AP, Project Manager; Jon Gentry, LEED® AP, Project Staff; Charlie Fairchild, Interior Design

Contractor:
Schuchart/Dow Construction

Consultants:
Coughlin Porter Lundeen (civil engineer); MCE Structural Consultants (structural engineer); Associated Earth Sciences (geotechnical engineer)

Craftspeople:
McCallum Rock Drilling (rock drilling and blasting); Westlake Concrete (architectural concrete walls and floors); Modrock Concrete Design (concrete floor finishing, kitchen countertops); Turner Exhibits (large pivoting steel door fabrication); Terry Wean (masonry and stone finishing); Rob Capelle (custom stain for cabinetry); Decorative metal Arts (custom master bedroom screen door and drain at master bath sink); Argent Fabrication (steel entry door); 12th Avenue Iron (custom powder room sink and master bath screen partitions); Schuchart/Dow Construction (kitchen and bedroom cabinetry); Kelly Worrell (fabrication of custom light fixtures based on original designs by Irene McGowan); Village Interiors (custom upholstery); Twisted Metal (metal cladding and miscellaneous metal trim); JD Equipment (rock removal and site excavation); Nutech Stone Cutting (fireplace hearth); Tydi Cut (stone cutting and powder room tube); Site Welding Services (structural steel);Optimum Windows (steel window frames); Olympic Glass and Door (window and door glazing); HI-Tek Lightworks (A/V and security); Rude Electric (line voltage work); Prokash (plumbing)

The Pierre | Olson Kundig

Photo Courtesy of Olson Kundig

The Pierre | Olson Kundig

Photo Courtesy of Olson Kundig

The Pierre | Olson Kundig

Photo Courtesy of Olson Kundig

The Pierre | Olson Kundig

Photo Courtesy of Olson Kundig

The Pierre | Olson Kundig

Photo Courtesy of Olson Kundig

The Pierre | Olson Kundig

Photo Courtesy of Olson Kundig

The Pierre | Olson Kundig

Photo Courtesy of Olson Kundig

The Pierre | Olson Kundig

Photo Courtesy of Olson Kundig

The Pierre | Olson Kundig

Photo Courtesy of Olson Kundig

The Pierre | Olson Kundig

Photo Courtesy of Olson Kundig

The Pierre | Olson Kundig

Photo Courtesy of Olson Kundig
Posted By
Olson Kundig
@olsonkundig
Olson Kundig is a full-service design firm whose work includes residences (often for art collectors), museums and exhibition design, hospitality projects, commercial design, academic buildings, interior design, visual identities, and places of worship. The firm is led by five owners—Jim Olson, Tom Kundig, Kirsten R. Murray, Alan Maskin, and Kevin Kudo-King—who are supported by eleven principals, twenty-four associates, and a staff of approximately 165 in the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood of downtown Seattle. The firm opened a workspace in New York in 2014 to better serve its expanding roster of East Coast and international clients. The in-house interiors studio, founded in 2000, provides a full range of services, including material selection, custom furniture design, and purchasing capabilities. The firm began its creative existence in 1966 with the architect Jim Olson, whose work at that time centered on explorations of the relationship between dwellings and the landscapes in which they inhabit. Olson started the firm based on the essential ideas that buildings can serve as a bridge between nature, culture, histories, and people, and that inspiring surroundings have a positive effect on people’s lives. Among the firm’s accolades are the 2009 National AIA Architecture Firm Award (as Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects), national and regional design awards from the American Institute of Architects, Jim Olson’s 2007 Seattle Medal of Honor and Tom Kundig’s National Design Award from the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt and his Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Books on the firm’s work include Tom Kundig: Works (Princeton Architectural Press); Jim Olson: Art and Architecture (August Editions, 2013); Tom Kundig Houses 2 (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011); Jim Olson Houses (The Monacelli Press, 2009); and Tom Kundig: Houses (Princeton Architectural Press, 2006.) www.olsonkundig.com
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