Useless Bay in Washington is a beautiful location for waterfront cabins and seasonal retreats but it’s also an area that presents certain particular challenges. It’s here that the architects at Hoedemaker Pfeiffer were commissioned to build a family home to take the place of an old cabin that had been passed from generation to generation. The site is on a 100 year old manmade spit which creates a separation between the freshwater wetland on one side and the open waters on the other.
The raised piers provide a durable and sturdy anchor for the elevated structure
The building regulations in this area dictated that all structures must meet the highest of flood regulations due to the fact that storms in the winter can flood the waterfront properties with corrosive saltwater. As a result, the architects came up with a design which elevates the house on concrete piers and allows the water to freely pass through underneath it.
The house is fully open to the views but also the winds coming from the south-west
The entire structure also had to be resilient and durable in order to withstand the strong winds from the south-west. At the same time, it had to be a pleasant retreat, a place where family and friends could gather in small and big groups to enjoy the scenery, the fresh air and the relaxed atmosphere. All of that translates into a casual and welcoming beach-style interior design with light and breezy colors and simple finishes. The interior design is also very symmetrical up to the point where the great room has two fireplaces on opposite walls and is flanked by identical bedrooms. The walls are clad in whitewashed spruce wood and the floors are polished concrete which creates a modern coastal vibe throughout the house.
At the center there’s a spacious great room with lots of windows that flood it with natural lightThe kitchen is part of the central living room, being positioned between the seating areasThe ceiling beams stand out and contrast with the whitewashed spruce cladding on the walls and ceiling
There are two fireplaces in the great room which add symmetry to the interior designThe kitchen is a very inviting space with a retro design and elegant marble countertopsThe bedrooms are positioned on either side of the great room, once again reinforcing the symmetry of the designThe materials and the finishes throughout the house were chosen to withstand heavy use but also to look beautifulAll the rooms have a coastal feel to them combined with a cozy cabin-inspired lookA reading nook was set up in front of a window, furnished with charming retro piecesThe covered deck is made of resilient hardwood and provides a panoramic view of the bay area
Photos: Andrew Giammarco