The cabin in the North Cascades is part of a continuing investigation into the lyrical qualities of wood and stone. The site is located at the north end of a beautiful, pristine valley, between a large open meadow and a dramatic mountain ridge. The meadow has a cross-country skiing trail that is groomed during the winter, with links to other trails, so the cabin allows for "skiing at the doorstep."
A series of complex wood trusses provide the major ordering element of the design. The trusses are supported by stone walls, utilizing split-face Montana ledgestone. The roofline begins very steeply at the peak, then breaks into a gentle slope over the 9 ft. deep stone porch that is continuous on both sides of the cabin. The deep roof overhangs contribute strongly to the image of shelter and welcome.
High clerestory windows allow the interior to enjoy generous amounts of natural light. Additional high windows placed within dormers also allow natural venting during the hot summer months. The cabin is designed both for the cold, snow-filled winters and the hot, dry summer months. The broad porches provide protection from the heavy winter snow as well as the making a cool, shady place to sit during the summer months.
The major building materials are Montana ledgestone exterior walls, Douglas fir trusses and purlins, Douglas fir windows, metal roofing and Douglas fir interior wood panels. The exterior porches are stone, and the interior floor is cast concrete (with a custom veneer finish) combined with inlaid strips of stone mosaic. The cabin is heated by a hot-water radiant slab system.
The floor plan is straightforward, with an open area containing living, dining, and kitchen at the east end of the cabin, and bedrooms with a loft above at the west end. The long face of the cabin faces south. A dramatic steel and wood bridge to the children's loft goes past the kitchen and then ends in a stair close to the front door, allowing the activity of going to the loft (mostly by children) to become a part of the main space, even slightly theatrical.