Whidbey Island Farm Retreat

Whidbey Island Farm Retreat

Architect
mwworks
Location
Whidbey Island Station, WA, USA | View Map
Project Year
2019
Category
Private Houses
Kevin Scott
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
PendantDavide Groppi srl
ManufacturersVitra.
ManufacturersBLU DOT
ManufacturersBrombal USA
ManufacturersQuantum Windows & Doors

Product Spec Sheet
Pendant
Manufacturers
Manufacturers
by BLU DOT
Manufacturers
Manufacturers

Whidbey Island Farm Retreat

mwworks as Architects

Located on a rural site on Whidbey island, a local family sought a new home and retreat on the site of their family farm. Out of respect for turn-of-the-century agricultural buildings located on the site, the home ticks into the edge of a densely forested hillside, overlooking chicken sheds, a weathered red barn, cattle fields and a fishing pond. The house appears intentionally modest and humble from the valley, deferential to the pastoral farmlands below. The house was designed as both retreat and part-time residence for a growing family with strong local roots going back several generation on the island. Intended for summer BBQs, fishing retreats, and family gatherings, the house was designed to be flexible and durable, and reflect the layered history both of the site and the family itself. While designed to be comfortable for two, the house accommodates up to 20 people, with a four-bedroom main house and a compete bunkhouse for the many grandchildren and guests.

 

The program of the home is broken down into discrete, modestly sized volumes, carefully woven between an array of large Douglas Fir trees, wrapped around a courtyard of natural and native shrubs and ferns. A low wall of stacked local Basalt stone organizes the volumes and subtly defines the perimeter of the courtyard. the courtyard becomes the visual and physical link between the different volumes, providing access and connection, but offering separation and retreat when desired. The rustic gravel approach to the house meanders through the dense and dark evergreens, opening to the house and layered views of the courtyard and trees. At the owner’s request, intense care and effort during design and construction placed the protection of the trees over construction expediency. What little trefoil required was carefully stored on the site, and is being used as lumber for the farm, cattle fencing and seasonal firewood fro the fireplace and the new fire pit at the edge of the meadow.

 

Several of the interiors doors and wall art are carved solid cedar slabs crafted decades ago by the family patriarch as a young doctor filling his time between patients, instilling a meaningful connection between the family’s past and present. The new solid plank cedar master bedroom door is designed as a future carving project for the owner, in between his days working the land, clearing brush, and raising organic cattle in the meadow below. With a palette of naturally weathered woods, concrete, locally quarried stone walls, deep oak window jambs, solo plaster walls, and black steel accents, the house strives to be warm and rustic yet simple, clear, and open—a house that honors both the timelessness of the forest and agricultural heritage of the site.

 

mwworks design team:

Steve Mongillo

Drew Shawver

Eric Walter

Briony Walker

Suzanne Stefan

 

project team:

Architect: mwworks

General Contractor: Dovetail General Contractors

Structural Engineer: PCS Structural Solutions

Landscape Design: Kenneth Philp Landscape Architects

Photography: Kevin Scott

This story is available in multiple languages
Share or Add Whidbey Island Farm Retreat to your Collections
Project Credits
417. KAP – Kapellenhof
next project

417. KAP – Kapellenhof

Housing
Vienna, Austria - Build completed in 2019
View Project