As we've mentioned previously, Seattle firm Olson Kundig Architects does modern retreats as well as anyone. The Pierre, a concrete bungalow in the San Juan Islands, is yet another fine example. Created for a client who expressed her affection for the rocky outcrops on her property, the structure is nestled cozily into said rocks, and in fact takes its name from the French word for stone.
"Putting the house in the rock follows a tradition of building on the least productive part of a site, leaving the best parts free for cultivation," said Tom Kundig, co-founder of the firm and the lead architect on the project.
Inserted between two sections of rock, the house is constructed in part from excavated stone, a reuse that acts as a reminder of the building process. The walls are made from exposed concrete, while the roof is covered with grassy plants that allow the building to merge into the landscape. At certain angles, the house seems almost to disappear into nature.
Completed in 2010, the Pierre but was named a winner of an American Institute of Architects' Institute Honor Award last week.