A judge has ruled against lauded Seattle architect Tom Kundig, in favor of the people who want to see his cantilevered mountain cabin removed from their once pristine view. Members of the Methow Valley community of Mazama, Washington, held that the cantilevered cabin he built on Flagg Mountain in 2012 violated a 1987 covenant requiring any new structures to be placed "with constraint and special sensitivity" to "minimize visual impact." Along with the former owners of the property, they've been campaigning to remove the pine box dwelling, which they worried might promote further development along the ridge.
"To me it was the extended third finger," Midge Cross, who can see the structure from her back porch, tells KOMO. "Like, 'Up yours, Mazama, we can put this here and the heck with you guys.'" Kundig shares the structure with his wife and a few friends that include homebuilder Jim Dow, the managing partner of Seattle's Schuchart/Dow.
In his ruling, Okanogan judge Christopher Culp wrote that "the hut could not have been built in a manner more insensitive to the visual minimizing goals of the covenants." To try and suggest Kundig purposefully violated the covenant, locals point to a bunch of AIA-recognized rolling guest cabins he built for a nearby area zoned for camping, equipped with wheels to skirt zoning rules prohibiting permanent structures.
Kundig's firm provided KOMO with a statement, reading "Tom Kundig designed this cabin with the valley's natural elements and history as a priority. His aim has been to create a building that embodies the Pacific Northwest spirit of contemporary architecture. While the legal process continues in appeal, there is no further comment."
· Judge: Controversial Mazama hut must move [KOMO via Archinect]
· The Big Problem with the Methow's Little Hut [Seattle Magazine]