Raise the Roof: An Adaptable Getaway in Washington

Raise the Roof: An Adaptable Getaway in Washington

Nancy Mitchell
Feb 6, 2013

Clearly, this is a picture of your dream bathroom (provided it has a really good radiant floor heating system). But look more closely and you'll notice something else: where's the roof? When I first saw this photo in my pinterest feed, I was very confused. Why would you built a space with opening and closing windows, but no roof? The answer is that the roof itself opens and closes, just like the windows, and this bathhouse is part of a entire home that is fascinatingly and endlessly adaptable. Let's take a closer look. 

Raise the Roof: An Adaptable Getaway in WashingtonOlson Kundig Architects, the building's designers, are well versed in creating structures that embrace their environment in unusual and innovative ways. (Their past projects include this cabin in Northern Idaho with an entire wall that opens to the outdoors, and these rolling modern guesthouses reminiscent of gypsy caravans.) This vacation house, located on a particularly windy and remote portion of the San Juan islands in Washington's strait of Juan de Fuca, is designed to unfold to its surroundings in multiple ways. Shutters lift open, decks slide out to embrace the meadow in front of the home, and whole walls can be opened to the outdoors. Beds from the main bunkroom are on rolling platforms, which means they can be rolled outdoors for sleeping under the stars. 

The most adaptable portion of the whole complex is the bathhouse, whose roof can lift up at the touch of a button. I'd love to take a bath here under the stars (although speaking as someone who used to work as an architect, I can only imagine that the waterproofing details were a nightmare). 

To see more of this project, including a video of the house opening up to its surroundings and the bathhouse roof lifting, check out ArchDaily

(Images: 1, 2, Michael Burns, 3 - 5, Tim Bies, all via ArchDaily)

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