Located on Orcas Island, in Washington, USA, the Lone Madrone retreat covers an area of 1600 square feet. It was a project by Heliotrope Architects, a studio that focuses on smart, contemporary designs, clean and elegant solutions and rigorous attention to detail.
For the team, the understanding of the social, cultural and physical qualities unique to each project plays an important role in determining the best course of action. Their architecture transcends style and trend and this approach defines the Lone Madrone retreat.
The location, in this case, dictated a design which would allow the house to harmonize with its surroundings. At the same time, the location posed a series of problems related to the fact that the house is exposed to hard weather conditions.
To minimize its exposure to weather, the architects designed the house with retractable wall panels. These act as a protective shell for the interior spaces, concealing them and keeping them warm and cozy during winter.
The retractable panels also allow the structure to open up to the outdoors and to fully interact with the landscape and the amazing views. Establishing a harmonious connection with the surroundings and with nature was an important element in the case of this project.
Another important aspect that the studio had to take into consideration was the desire to minimize the project’s impact on the site, nature and the surroundings. In order to achieve that, the studio integrated a roof garden into the house’s design.
The roof garden’s role is partially to replace the landscape lost in the construction process but also to allow the house to better blend in and to become a natural part of the area.
Local materials and craftsmen were used during all the stages of the project. This is yet another element which allows the house to become a natural part of its location. Douglas fir and western red cedar were used throughout the house to create a warm and pleasant ambiance.
The interior design is simple and modern. Full height windows and glass walls open the rooms to the gorgeous views while also letting tons of natural light in. The chromatic palette is neutral and based on earthy colors.
There’s great emphasis on texture as well as on the small details. In the social area, the area rug and the turquoise accents create a very pleasant balance while the woof-burning fireplace adds a really nice touch of rustic beauty.
The kitchen opens onto a desk and has large windows and glass doors connecting it to the outdoors.
The bedrooms and their en-suite bathrooms are surrounded by stunning and relaxing views from all sides. This is why their simplistic and even austere interior design doesn’t lack character.
An outdoor fire pit provides the perfect focal point for a cozy outdoor seating area. The trees offer it a certain amount of privacy while the water establishes a very serene ambiance.
The outdoor dining area is another wonderful addition given the context. Sheltered by the house on one side, the wooden deck opens onto the surroundings and the views while remaining intimate and welcoming.