When building a woodsy retreat for a family of avid bird watchers, the architects at Wittman Estes took a cue from the family’s dispersed locations. Instead of building a single house in the forest outside of Seattle, they built a cluster of cabins that can accommodate family members flying in from various parts of the country.
The architects demolished the old cabin that sat on the 1.13-acre site in Washington’s Hood Canal region and replaced it with three separate structures—a main cabin, smaller cabin, and a bunkhouse and bathroom.
The cabins, which gather around a central yard, are intentionally low profile with dark facades, lots of windows, and timber decks that extend living spaces into the surrounding landscape. “We sought to dissolve the barriers between the inside and out, between forest, garden, and structure,” the firm’s founder Matt Wittman explained.
Inside the main cabin, countertops and walls were constructed from reclaimed materials from the original house. A Murphy bed drops out of the wall, turning the living room into a bedroom.
Playing off the natural surroundings, the pale wood interiors catch the glow of the sun, while windows let in lots of green and sliding doors open wide to make all three cabins feel interconnected.