This compact cabin on the Pacific Northwest coast sits lightly on its beachside site, elevated above the sand dunes by two concrete piers. Inspired by the iconic form of beach lifeguard towers, as well as Sanderling shorebirds standing in the surf, the cabin’s main living spaces hover above the sand, maximizing ocean views while also providing protection from inevitable tidal fluctuations. Below, a covered outdoor patio with a fireplace allows the family to engage the landscape, while also creating a channel for storm surge water to safely pass beneath the building.
Located on the coast of western Washington state, where the family has enjoyed vacationing for years, the 1,200-square-foot dwelling establishes a flexible and intimate gathering place for the family. Underscoring resiliency and longevity, the design is intended to function for the family during all four seasons, while anticipating future climate changes such as rising sea levels and storm surges. On the exterior, simple, resilient materials including metal exterior siding will stand up to the harsh coastal environment, while interiors of exposed wood framing establish a cozy, cocoon-like retreat.