Whale Watch - Orcas Island, WA

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Orcas Island, WA

Whale Watch is the architect's own retreat, reminiscent of New England ship captain's homes; tightly built, all in wood, almost as if a ship on land. The many wooden built-in features reinforce the architect's concept - and also eliminate the need for excessive furniture. The house, designed and built by the architects themselves, is necessarily a study in conservation, because when building on an island, all materials and furnishings have to be brought in by ferryboat. But even before that, the architect's prime concern was to respect the pristine beauty of the site as found in its wild and natural state, and to have minimal impact. With this in mind, the architects designed a compact footprint on the land, with three vertical levels - carefully merging the structure with the hillside. The living levels of the home are placed uppermost, giving maximum view of the harbor, the ferryboats, and the annual whale migration.