Carved Into Stone: The Pierre House By Olson Kundig Architects

If you happen to be in San Juan Island, Washington, and simply watch over the hills, you may not see anything special. What if I told you there is a beautiful house somewhere out there? Seen from a distance or from certain angles, this residence seems to be part of the landscape. And it is, if I think about it.

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The green roof is a plus regarding camouflage. Even the name has a real meaning! In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, the name of this house is given by the French word for stone. Great name for a residence nestled into the rocks!

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As you can probably imagine, the building process was not so simple. Olson Kundig Architects talked about the setting and the way they built the entire house:

To set the house deep into the site, portions of the rock outcropping were excavated through a combination of machine work and handwork. The contractor used large drills to set the outline of the building, then used dynamite, hydraulic chippers, and wire saws and other hand tools, working with finer and finer implements as construction progressed.

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The Pierre house has an open plan kitchen, dining and living space, two bathrooms, two bedrooms and an outdoor terrace providing a wonderful view. One of the great ideas to preserve the main structure of the site even inside the house was to use raw materials in contrast with the luxurious accents(in this case, stone and wood).

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Even though, at a first sight, you have the sense of a gloomy atmosphere, natural light removes any uncomfortable feeling. Olson Kundig Architects used floor to ceiling windows, thus solving two problems in one shot: brightness and the access to a beautiful landscape.