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photo of The Pierre
Photo: Dwight Eschliman

The Pierre

San Juan Islands, Washington

The Pierre

San Juan Islands, Washington

  • Design Principal

    Tom Kundig

The owner’s affection for a stone outcropping on her property inspired the design of this house. Conceived as a retreat 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 through machine work and handwork. 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.

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. Both the entry sequence and a powder room are fully carved out of the rock.

The Pierre is a modern house exploring traditional site and building strategies. In the spirit of using available on‑site materials, we took a natural object from the site – the rock – and repurposed it in the building of this home. It’s both a quarry and a structure. Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA




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

IIDA 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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