Fox Island Residence

Fox Island Residence

Architect
Olson Kundig
Location
Fox Island, WA, USA | View Map
Project Year
2014
Category
Private Houses
Aaron Leitz

Fox Island Residence

Olson Kundig as Architects

A family home originally built over four decades ago, this Fox Island beachfront residence boasts unobstructed views of the Puget Sound and an island wildlife area to the west. Opening up these previously constrained views and integrating the family’s active coastal lifestyle into the home served as the primary directives for the new design. An elevated roofline and a new row of clerestory windows on the home’s water-facing side, along with wall-height windows replacing the original truncated glazing, brighten a previously darker and compressed living area. Hidden pivot points in several of these window walls open the west side of the home to the outdoors, extending the livable area out to the newly remodeled deck.


“It’s a special opportunity to remodel a house that the clients have lived in for many years. They know the site so well: the best views, the direction of winds, and how the sun interacts with the site throughout the year.” – Jim Olson, Design Principal.


Inside, exposed wood pillars supporting the clerestory windows are paired with a corresponding row of pillars on the exterior, creating a visual link to the outdoors. Beach grasses push up to the wall-height windows in the main living area, further connecting the interior to the exterior. Reclaimed antique wood floors, sandy-colored cedar board ceilings and interior walls, and nickel and cold-rolled steel fireplaces continue the Northwest natural aesthetic inside.


The interior offers a neutral backdrop for the client’s eclectic art collection. Large, colorful wall-mounted glass pieces and small-scale freestanding sculptures alike find new life in the subdued interior, where additional window openings allow the home itself to frame the artworks. Opening up the stairwell and upper level hallway created new views to the artworks installed below, generating a visual connection between the home’s two floors, and to the coastal landscape beyond.


“When a house is passed on from generation to generation, it really becomes part of the family.” –Jim Olson, Design Principal.


Project Team: Jim Olson, FAIA, Design Principal; William Franklin, Project Manager; Christine Burkland, Interior Design.


Contractor: Schuchart/Dow


Structural Engineer: Bykonen Carter Quinn


Lighting Designer: Moonbeam Lighting


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