Rolling Huts

Location Mazama, Washington
Design Principal Tom Kundig

Responding to the owner’s need for space to house visiting friends and family, the Rolling Huts are several steps above camping, while remaining low-tech and low-impact in their design. The huts sit lightly on the site, a flood plain meadow in an alpine river valley. The owner purchased the site, formerly a RV campground, with the aim of allowing the landscape return to its natural state. The wheels lift the structures above the meadow, providing an unobstructed view into nature and the prospect of the surrounding mountains.

The Rolling Huts are perched like overgrown Tonka toys on rusty wheels and make a radically humble statement. Although they can roll, the wheels serve aesthetic more than practical purposes and give the huts a sculptural presence, hovering ever so lightly on the landscape.

WSJ Magazine

The construction of each hut is simple. It is, in essence, an offset, steel clad box on a steel and wood platform. Walls are topped by clerestory windows, over which a sips panel roof floats in an inverted, lopsided V. At the north end of the hut, a double-paned sliding glass door opens to the outside. Living occurs not only in the 200 square feet inside the box, but on the 240 square feet of covered deck space surrounding it. Interior finishes—cork and plywood—are simple, inexpensive, and left as raw as possible. Exteriors are durable, no-maintenance materials—steel, plywood and car-decking. The raw nature of the materials responds to the natural setting.

The huts are grouped as a herd: while each is sited towards a view of the mountains (and away from the other structures), their proximity unites them. Showers, as well as parking, are located in and near the centrally located barn, set a short distance from the herd. Rain run-off and snow melt from each hut are allowed to percolate into the surrounding naturalized landscape.

Information

Team

Design Principal

Tom Kundig

Project Manager

Jerry Garcia

Awards

2009

AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Honor Awards, Honor Award

Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Awards, American Architecture Award

Residential Architect Design Awards, Grand Award: Outbuilding

2008

Architectural Record: Record Houses, Record House

2007

AIA Seattle Honor Awards, Merit Award

Publications

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