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photo of The Pierre Interiors
Photo: Benjamin Benschneider

The Pierre Interiors

San Juan Islands, Washington

The Pierre Interiors

San Juan Islands, Washington

The materiality of The Pierre—mild steel, smooth concrete, and drywall—creates a neutral backdrop for the interior furnishings and artwork and the exterior views to the bay and surrounding landscape. With deep connections to Pacific Northwest modernists including Jean Jongeward, the owner of this home sought to recreate touchstone moments from her life through art and interior design.

With the exception of a separate guest suite, the house 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. Its two large bookcases open to provide concealed access to laundry and kitchen storage. A large pivoting steel and glass door provides access to a terrace.

Contemporary works of art by Cameron Martin, Jesse Paul Miller, Andres Serrano, Franz West, and Claude Zervas are mounted inside and outside the house. Antique furniture and art objects are complemented by custom pieces. Interiors by Olson Kundig, in collaboration with the client.

Throughout the house, the rock protrudes 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. In the primary bathroom, water cascades through three polished pools, natural sinks in the existing stone. Off the main space, a powder room is carved out of the rock; a mirror set within a skytube reflects natural light into the space.

A bronze shield (c. 1970) forged by sculptor Paul Evans floats atop reclaimed siding from a nearby cabin designed by architect Lionel Pries. Together, they form a custom-assembled cabinet rich in texture and history. Set at a right angle to the main space, a primary suite features a custom-designed bed with a leather headboard and footboard set in the middle of floor-to ceiling bookshelves. Seattle craftsman Rob Folendorf copied photos of rock walls from an existing cabin on site to create custom handwoven wool tapestry for the dining chairs. The arms are wrapped in leather by Holly Hunt. The custom light fixtures are based on the designs of Irene McGowan, a Seattle artist and lighting designer best known for her work with noted Northwest architect Roland Terry.




AIA National Honor Awards, Architecture Award

AIA National Honor Awards, Interior Architecture Award


Architizer A+ Popular Choice Awards, Finalist, Residential Single Family Home


AIA National Housing Awards, Housing Award

AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Honor Awards, Honor Award

AIA Seattle Honor Awards, Honor Award

Builder’s Choice Design & Planning Awards, Builder’s Choice Grand Award

Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Awards, American Architecture Award

International Interior Design Association Interior Design Awards, Interior Design Award, Best of Competition


Northwest Design Awards, First Place: Exotic Retreats

Washington Aggregates & Concrete Association, Excellence in Concrete Construction


World Architecture News House of the Year Awards, House of the Year



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