Keeping a low profile – Doe Bay

Located on a rocky, wind-swept south facing shoreline at Doe Bay, Washington; this home nestles into the landscape to harmonize with its surroundings whilst minimising exposure to weather. The home is a vacation house for a family of four, who desired a low-impact home with a strong connection to land and sea. Designed by Seattle based Heliotrope Architects as a simple ‘wedge’, mimicking the hillside slope beyond, and is tucked into a natural depression in the shoreline in order to diminish its visual impact.
Living spaces open up completely on north (garden) and south (water) sides via a custom lift-slide door system. Bedrooms focus primarily on the more private, forested slope to the west and the kitchen opens onto an adjacent a rock promontory to the east. Due to the extreme weather exposure of the site, major openings are paired with rolling wall panels to protect them from punishing winter storms, as well as to provide security when unoccupied.
With shallow soil depth, disruption to natural storm-water flow is also a critical issue. Poorly filtered runoff from roofs and other hard surfaces are a major water quality issue on the Islands. The studios drainage design captures runoff along the up-slope footing and disperses it, replicating as closely as possible the pre-construction runoff condition.

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