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neil bay

Modern Waterfront Cabin San Juan Island


San Juan Island, WA

The site is unique, with its remarkable low bank beach and an even more remarkable 25 foot shoreline set back. The clients, a young family with two small children, wanted this cabin to be as intimate as possible with the beach. 

The design had to incorporate both rustic (for him) and refined (for her) elements. The objective was to create a space that would endure years of the wear and tear from growing kids running in and out from the beach. Crucially, it had to maintain the intimacy with the outdoor world.

Tree density and compass location eliminated the option of facing the house to the beach, as it would limit natural light and solar gain. We hit upon the angled "L" positioning, with the second floor rotated off of this alignment to best capture the combination of view and light while maintaining privacy from neighbors. 

In honoring the rustic and refined desires of the couple, we distinguished between floors. The lower floor is simple and blends with the exterior - all store doors and unfinished rough cedar siding. The upper floor is more "considered" - an unexpected window pattern and smooth stained t&g cedar siding lends a refined feel.


Completed: 2011

Category: Modern Waterfront Cabin San Juan Island