The mountain landscape of Washington’s Methow Valley is the setting for this family retreat, conceived by architect Tom Kundig as 4 structures arranged “like a tiny campground” about a huge rock .

Studhorse by Olson Kundig

Kundig, a single of the principals of Seattle company Olson Kundig Architects, wanted the property to embody the spirit of adventure designed by its remote rural setting – a largely untouched landscape on the edge of a nationwide forest that hosts the USA’s largest Nordic ski trail program in winter.


To attain this, he developed four separate structures, which all wrap around a courtyard and swimming pool in the same way that campers pitch their tents about a fire.

Studhorse by Olson Kundig

“A house that is all about adventure is a single that forces you to be outdoors and engage actively with the seasons. You have to go outside to get inside,” stated the architect.

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“So the home has inconveniences, but the clients and I see them as terrific moments, unforgettable moments,” he continued. “Adventure is about inconvenience in that it reaffirms and reminds you of the place you dwell.”


Kundig grew up in Washington state, and many of his greatest-recognized projects are rural cabins, like the Delta Shelter from 2005.

The cabins are designed to suit an setting susceptible to both scorching summers and winters with hefty snowfall.

Studhorse by Olson Kundig

For this home – named Studhorse after its place near the Studhorse Ridge – the exterior is clad with pre-rusted Corten steel, although the interior functions wood salvaged from an outdated barn in Spokane.

Projecting eaves and cantilevered roofs generate shelters at the a variety of entrances, creating it less complicated for occupants to move from creating to building.

Studhorse by Olson Kundig

“It really is like a minor campground, and you go tent to tent,” said Kundig. “The resources are difficult on the outdoors, because of the high-desert climate, but the inside is cozy, like acquiring into a sleeping bag – protected, warm, and dry.”

Studhorse by Olson Kundig

The very first and most transparent of the 4 volumes consists of the family’s major communal regions. 1 massive space contains the kitchen, dining room and residing area, anchored by a raw concrete fireplace and chimney.

Studhorse by Olson Kundig

Panels of glazing dominate the walls, and these surfaces slide back so that residents can open the interior up to the aspects. There is also a bar tacked onto the side of the block.


A two-storey block is made up of the den, which can be opened to an outside room sheltered beneath the overhanging floor over. The master bedroom and the children’s area are contained upstairs.

Studhorse by Olson Kundig

“The style embraces loved ones lifestyle and entertaining,” explained Kundig. “For example a single wall with a Tv can both face inside or open up to encounter the courtyard. If there is a game on, everyone can observe from the pool area.”


“There is also a Coney Island factor to the bar, exactly where you push a button and the walls open up,” he added.

“It has turned out to be a notably effective part of the architecture. Everyone hangs out naturally at the bar, and the reality that you can open it up is important to the within-outside romantic relationship we were searching for to obtain.”

Studhorse by Olson Kundig

The two smaller sized buildings contain a committed guest suite and a timber-lined sauna, which functions a single framed see more than the valley.


“The glass is extremely crucial,” stated Kundig. “I have by no means liked getting in a area that doesn’t feel like element of the outside.”

“I constantly like to consider the volume of glass I am allowed per code and, rather than sprinkling it all around like pepper, concentrate it in one spot to make a vivid connection to the landscape,” he mentioned.


The big rock – the only factor that was on the website prior to development started out – is found up coming to the bar, the place it now serves as a piece of furniture. The swimming pools sit off to one side.


Olson Kundig Architects completed Studhorse in 2012, but it was just lately recognised with a housing award by the American Institute of Architects.

Kundig’s other projects in rural Washington state incorporate an island home nestled amongst enormous boulders and a weekend cabin raised on stilts.

Photography is by Benjamin Benschneider.



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