False Bay Residence

Location San Juan Island, Washington
Design Principal Kirsten R. Murray
Design Mentor Tom Kundig

This single-family home is situated to maximize sweeping views of Haro Strait and the Olympic Mountains. A fifteen-foot-tall, opaque entry door pivots open to reveal a view of the Sound through a double-height glazed living and dining space. The owners envisioned a home for both entertaining friends and relaxing as a family. The compact plan groups spaces for efficiency and minimizes unnecessary circulation.

There were existing agricultural buildings on site, so we thought the house could take its cue directly from those vernacular structures—steeply pitched roof, open interior, loft space and overall height.

Kirsten R. Murray Design Principal

Light and solar heat gain can be adjusted with four, twenty-foot-tall exterior sliding wood shutters that extend across the entire west facade. Deep roof overhangs—ranging from eight to twelve feet—also provide shade and cover from direct sunlight and storms, while the hopper window above the entry door helps to naturally ventilate the house.

The spirit of efficiency extends to the limited material palette—wood, concrete, steel—simple, relatively low maintenance materials that, paired with energy efficient glass and ready access to light filled spaces, reduce the impact on the environment.

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