Modern Retreat Embraces Its Rocky Surroundings

Located on Orcas Island, in Washington, USA, the Lone Madrone retreat covers an area of 1600 square feet. It was a project by Heliotrope Architects, a studio that focuses on smart, contemporary designs, clean and elegant solutions and rigorous attention to detail.

The Lone Madrone retreat front facadeView in gallery

The Lone Madrone retreat rocky landscapeView in gallery

For the team, the understanding of the social, cultural and physical qualities unique to each project plays an important role in determining the best course of action. Their architecture transcends style and trend and this approach defines the Lone Madrone retreat.

The Lone Madrone retreat deck on rocksView in gallery

The Lone Madrone retreat deck extensionView in gallery

The location, in this case, dictated a design which would allow the house to harmonize with its surroundings. At the same time, the location posed a series of problems related to the fact that the house is exposed to hard weather conditions.

The Lone Madrone retreat sliding wood panelsView in gallery

To minimize its exposure to weather, the architects designed the house with retractable wall panels. These act as a protective shell for the interior spaces, concealing them and keeping them warm and cozy during winter.

The Lone Madrone retreat architecture overallView in gallery

The retractable panels also allow the structure to open up to the outdoors and to fully interact with the landscape and the amazing views. Establishing a harmonious connection with the surroundings and with nature was an important element in the case of this project.

The Lone Madrone retreat social area exposed to viewsView in gallery

The Lone Madrone retreat social area floor planView in gallery

Another important aspect that the studio had to take into consideration was the desire to minimize the project’s impact on the site, nature and the surroundings. In order to achieve that, the studio integrated a roof garden into the house’s design.

The Lone Madrone retreat social area viewsView in gallery

The Lone Madrone retreat social area closed off panelsView in gallery

The roof garden’s role is partially to replace the landscape lost in the construction process but also to allow the house to better blend in and to become a natural part of the area.

The Lone Madrone retreat living room opens to the outdoorsView in gallery

Local materials and craftsmen were used during all the stages of the project. This is yet another element which allows the house to become a natural part of its location. Douglas fir and western red cedar were used throughout the house to create a warm and pleasant ambiance.

The Lone Madrone retreat living room turquoise accentsView in gallery

The Lone Madrone retreat living room fireplaceView in gallery

The interior design is simple and modern. Full height windows and glass walls open the rooms to the gorgeous views while also letting tons of natural light in. The chromatic palette is neutral and based on earthy colors.

The Lone Madrone retreat kitchen designView in gallery

There’s great emphasis on texture as well as on the small details. In the social area, the area rug and the turquoise accents create a very pleasant balance while the woof-burning fireplace adds a really nice touch of rustic beauty.

The Lone Madrone retreat bedroom and en-suite bathroomView in gallery

The kitchen opens onto a desk and has large windows and glass doors connecting it to the outdoors.

The Lone Madrone retreat bedroom windowsView in gallery

The bedrooms and their en-suite bathrooms are surrounded by stunning and relaxing views from all sides. This is why their simplistic and even austere interior design doesn’t lack character.

The Lone Madrone retreat outdoor firepitView in gallery

An outdoor fire pit provides the perfect focal point for a cozy outdoor seating area. The trees offer it a certain amount of privacy while the water establishes a very serene ambiance.

The Lone Madrone retreat outdoor dining areaView in gallery

The Lone Madrone retreat outdoor dining area viewsView in gallery

The outdoor dining area is another wonderful addition given the context. Sheltered by the house on one side, the wooden deck opens onto the surroundings and the views while remaining intimate and welcoming.