Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures
Project: City Cabin – Urban Retreat
Architects: Olson Kundig
Location: Seattle, Washington, United States
Design Principal: Jim Olson, FAIA
Area 2400.0 ft2
Project Year 2015
Photographer: Aaron Leitz

Located in one of Seattle’s most established residential areas, City Cabin’s design answers the client’s desire for a private urban retreat that would connect her to nature. Siting the 2,400-square-foot house on the northwest corner of the lot maximizes garden areas on the south and east sides. The home’s staggered footprint allows for more glazing, which increases sun exposure and garden views from every room.

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 1

With the goal of net-zero energy use, the home’s design incorporates key sustainability features such as photovoltaic panels and an air-to-water heat pump. Planting mature trees and dense greenery onto the site helped transform an ordinary urban infill lot into a private refuge.

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 2

City Cabin is organized around a central gathering space with two wings extending from it: one with the master suite and the other containing the guest room and storage areas. The heart of the home in plan as well as function, the central area, which consists of an open kitchen and living space, is a single volume defined by a 16-foot-high ceiling. Here, a full-height window wall overlooks the gardens to the southeast, and clerestory windows maximize solar gain and create a sense of lightness while maintaining privacy.

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 3

Materials and assemblies were chosen primarily for economy and sustainability, but the palette also draws inspiration from the client’s extensive Native American art collection. The concrete floors are tinted with a custom red hue inspired by red cedar and ochre colors, while walls and ceilings are made of natural, unstained plywood chosen for its durability and simplicity. On the exterior, fir siding reclaimed from a nearby fruit storage warehouse will weather naturally with minimal maintenance.

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 4

Durable galvanized steel roofing and beam end caps complement the natural wood finishes, developing a rich patina with exposure. Along with reclaimed materials, the house incorporates several green strategies including a sedum green roof, reflecting the client’s longstanding engagement with environmental conservation.

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 5

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 6

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 7

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 9

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 8

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 10

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 11

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 12

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 13

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 14

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 15

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 16

Stunning Seattle Urban Retreat Inspired by Native American Cultures 17

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Canari House in Montreal / Naturehumaine

Canari House is a fourplex recently renovated by Canadian studio naturehumaine. Project description: An athletic young couple wants to transform a fourplex to create their...

Chop Chop Kitchen by Dirk Biotto

The designer Dirk Biotto has projected Chop Chop Kitchen with the intention to help elderly and disabled people. Analyzing the current activities developed in...

Central Austin House Remodeled in the Spirit of the Original Mid-Century House

A balance of natural light, simple materials, and flows, are integrated with controlled views and atmospheric variation. This Central Austin house was remodeled in the spirit of the original Mid-Century Modern house, with an open plan, honest natural materials, and a direct connection to nature.

Eva Street House, Major Remodel and Addition in Austin, Texas

The original 1930 bungalow’s main value was its prime location near South Congress. Otherwise, the existing structure was dark and dated. The original structure’s living spaces were cut off from the backyard by the master bedroom and a utility room.

Miner’s Cottages Restoration by Design Storey

The Miner’s Cottages are two c18th cottages located on the High Street in the Somerset village of Pensford, England. Formerly two cottages, they had been joined together in the 1950s to form a single residence.

Shenzhen Heytea Lab – Design for More Commercial Experiences

The improvement of consumption and the convenience of digitization have promoted the transformation and formation of new consumption patterns and consumer groups. China is accelerating its entry into a new era of consumption.