Little House

As we’re all pretty much on lockdown right now, our thoughts inevitably turn to the sort of residential properties that it would certainly be no imposition to be stuck in for a few months and this leads us squarely to the door of Little House from MW Works Architects. Located in Seabeck in Washington State on a 1.7 acre site, the Little House is nestled into a lush second growth forest on a north facing bluff which overlooks Hood Canal with far-reaching views to Dabob Bay.

Designed to repurpose an existing foundation, the new building is just over 20 feet square and boasts a truly contemporary aesthetic that we’re loving here at Coolector HQ.  The simple form of Little House from MW Works is abstracted against the forest. It has a stark exterior which contrasts a warm and vibrant interior. The owners of this breathtaking property live full time in Houston, Texas but have shared many summers with family at a nearby property outside Seabeck.

Wilderness Lovers

The owners of Little House are big fans of the great outdoors and this shines through in many of the design features found throughout this majestic piece of architecture. Early design meetings focused on crafting a compact, contemporary structure that was both simple and inexpensive to build. It was intentionally restrained on an existing footprint (1,140 square feet), and the concept took hold from this premise. It is basically a simple box with vast carved openings in both the roof and walls that selectively embrace the unbeatable views and extensive natural light.

Visitors approach the site of Little House from the south where a thin canopy marks the entry and does a great job of framing the views of the Canal below. The more transparent north and west elevations pull the landscape and distant view into the space.  With the most impressive views being out toward the water, the south and east elevations remain mostly solid, shielding views from the driveway and adjacent homes. Skylights are fitted into the roof, which deliver superb natural light and views of the stars over the bed and into the shower.

Taut oxidised black cedar and blackened cement infill panels that are wrapped around the exterior of Little House deliver a great visual impact while lightly painted MDF panels and soft pine plywood warm and make the interior more visually vibrant. On a sunny western corner of the house a substantial patio stretches out into the landscape and joins the building to the larger site while serving as a jumping off point to the trail system wandering down to the water’s edge.

Small But Perfectly Formed

The small footprint of Little House serves as the perfect tool to govern the whole design process. Focus was placed on the essentials and extras were edited out by both desire and a very humble budget. The resulting build aims to capture the essence of the contemporary cabin—small in size but much larger than its boundaries.

We love modern architecture like Little House here at Coolector HQ and it’s located in a breathtaking part of the world which just adds to its appeal still further. Great use of space and materials combine to make this one of our favourite pieces of architecture in 2020 so far.

Leo Davie
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