At the age of eighteen, Olson began work on a bunkhouse for his family in Longbranch. Since then, he has continued to expand the small structure into both a private retreat and a touch point for his work worldwide.
The cabin is intentionally subdued in color and texture, allowing the lush natural surroundings to take precedence. Simple, readily available materials are used throughout: wood-framed walls are sheathed in plywood both inside and out; doubled pairs of steel columns support glulam beams that, in turn, support an exposed roof structure; and interior fir flooring becomes outdoor decking with additional spacing.
The rooms themselves are essentially a set of boxes set underneath a unifying roof; together, they create a single form that is grounded onto the hillside and projects out over the landscape. The living room’s large 11’ x 13’ window not only frames the view of the adjoining meadow and Puget Sound but visually blends the indoors and outdoors.
Sea shells, animal skulls and found curiosities transform a spun metal bowl into a tiny museum.
My love of nature and of being outdoors has led me to explore ways to break down the barriers between inside and outside. Here, rocks inside the house visually merge with rocks placed outside to blur the line between inside and outside.
Custom-designed chair by Jim Olson is made of driftwood from the beach.
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Flanagan, Barbara. “Bough House: The Home as Hammock.” Metropolitan Home, June 1988, 78-84. Print.
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