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photo of Sol Duc Cabin
Photo: Benjamin Benschneider

Sol Duc Cabin

Olympic Peninsula, Washington

Sol Duc Cabin

Olympic Peninsula, Washington

  • Design Principal

    Tom Kundig

This 350-square-foot cabin is a small perch for its occupant. The cabin is raised up above the landscape with a view out onto the Sol Duc River. The cabin is located in one of the few temperate rainforests of the world, and “rainforest” here means wet and rather cold, as opposed to wet and hot. Putting the cabin on stilts protects it from the clammy dampness and occasional flooding.

The owner is an avid steelhead fisherman, and Sol Duc River has some of the best steelhead fishing in the state. The design allows him and his wife to arrive at this remote location, open up the cabin, and get to fishing as quickly as possible.

The shutters are operated manually via custom steel rods. The large panels slide on hardware that was originally designed for sliding barn doors, attached to the steel roof beam structure. The cabin seals up entirely when not in use and is virtually indestructible – it’s made of unfinished, mild steel and structural insulated panels. Most of the cabin was prefabricated off-site, which minimized construction waste and site disruption.

I don’t think I could ever design something as beautiful as what’s already here. We’re here to frame the landscape, create an experience of place, and perhaps bring some of that experience – the intimacy, the vulnerability – inside the house. Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA

Team

Awards

2014

AIA National Housing Awards, Architecture, Housing Award

AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Design Awards, Design Award

AIA Pacific Northwest Region, Honor Award

2011

AIA Seattle Honor Awards, Merit Award

Publications

2018

Mollard, Manon. “Retrospective Olson Kundig.” The Architectural Review, 13 Aug. 2018. Web.

Mollard, Manon. “Retrospective Olson Kundig.” The Architectural Review, July/Aug. 2018, 80-84. Print.