Heliotrope Architects recently designed a 1,600sf retreat in the San Juan Islands of Washington called Lone Madrone. Located on a rocky, wind-swept south-facing shoreline; this retreat home nestles into the landscape to harmonize with its surroundings and minimize exposure to weather.
The home is a vacation retreat for a family of four, who desired a low-impact home with a strong connection to land and sea. The design solution utilizes a simple 'wedge' shape geometry, mimicking the hillside slope beyond, and is tucked into a natural depression in the shoreline in order to diminish its visual impact. Living spaces open up completely on north (garden) and south (water) sides via a custom lift-slide door system. Bedrooms focus primarily on the more private, forested slope to the west and the kitchen opens onto an adjacent a rock promontory to the east.
Due to the extreme weather exposure of the site, major openings are paired with rolling wall panels to protect them from punishing winter storms, as well as to provide security when unoccupied. The finish palette consists of local materials including douglas fir (floors, trim), western red cedar (siding, wall and ceiling cladding) and pacific madrone (furniture).
Photography: Sean Airhart Photography