Forest Residence ‘An Tei’

Hood Canal, Washington

Drawn from the native flora and topography of this west-facing Hood Canal property, the residence for this couple was intended to further reveal the power and elegance of those very features. Tailored to the contours, the home skirts existing cedar and maple trees, burrowing into a gentle slope. As a result the building is less of a discernible object in the landscape, and more of a choreography of spaces. Each of those spaces, in turn, display a range of views – intimate and forested to distant and immense – and are defined by the structure of the large, far-flung extended family who often visit, and the materials of Douglas fir and board-formed concrete. The circumstances of the land and the client became the form-giver in plan and elevation.

Individual elements were designed to enhance the experience of the landscape. The main drive transports guests through a magnificent and dense second-growth cedar forest, while access to the garage/guest house displays a fallen (but living) multi-stemmed maple. The sunken entry courtyard offers glimpses to the Hood Canal within a protected, human-scaled space. The building is sheltered by a planted roof that, with the sloped topography, integrates it as a whole with the broader landscape. The very qualities of the residence that reveals the beauty of the land also help to conceal it within the forested slope.