A Hitchcock masterwork inspired the design for this residence. The iconic henchman’s liar in “North by Northwest” – an imposing structure rising out of its rock foundation and jutting over a precipitous ravine – was memorable for the client. It became the touchstone for this design, reimagined for this equally impressive site – a lofty perch above Burrows Bay with sweeping sound and island views.
This modern cabin sat upon and was structurally grafted into the solid rock summit of this stunning and isolated hilltop in south Fidalgo Island. The open plan of 1200 square feet feels more spacious than it’s footprint through extensive window and clerestory placement that draws the expansive views into the interior.
To optimize best views and orientation, the house was essentially carved into and laid atop of a rock cliff, prompting the structure to appear – with its steeply pitched roof design – poised to leap off the embankment towards the San Juans.
The clients had a penchant for growing orchids and baking artisan pizza so a humidity controlled greenhouse and an Italian imported kitchen centerpiece informed the interior design, while the exterior – respecting the historical maritime nature of the neighborhood- opened the house to sweeping vistas of the Guemes channel.
In addition to capitalizing on the water view of the San Juan channel from the Great Room, the owners wanted that central living space imbued with light from all sides, prompting the incorporation of a continuous clerestory around the perimeter of the elevated great room. At night – when the light source changes from outside to within – the soft glow emitted from the Great Room evokes the look of a gleaming lantern.
A tight lot and a goal to squeak out some maritime views drove the design, which used color and playful geometrics to elevate its appeal.
Taking a cue from the surrounding jagged peaks of the North Cascades, this design adopted a pyramidal styled motif – using large vertically stacked modular windows, glass blocks and other elements – to evoke the rugged natural landscape.