- Sustainable Architecture
- Applied recycling with Scavenger Studio by Olson Kundig
The Collins dictionary gives the meaning of the verb “scavenge” as “collecting things by searching among waste or unwanted objects”, and in the case of the architect Les Eerkes from the studio of the same name founded in 2015, material that can be used to build a house in the woods. In the case in point, Eerkes, at the time a Design principal at the renowned Olson Kundig sourced plywood cladding, kitchen cabinets and a tiny porthole window from houses about to be bulldozed. A sustainable choice for both the environment and the budget of the client, artist and activist, insomuch as readymade elements that would otherwise be destroyed were upcycled to craft the two-storey house and studio.
Eerkes also decided to raise the small cabin on concrete stumps, without digging foundations, another way to cut costs and keep down the environmental impact. A simple wood panel structure sits on the concrete stumps to form the house, holding up a long, slightly sloping overhanging roof to provide passive protection from the summer sun.
The kitchen and living area occupy the ground floor of the double-height interior. The sleeping loft and studio of the artist is accessed by a steel staircase and contains lots of shelving. A panel next to the bed drops down, as you can see in the photo by Benjamin Benschneider, opening the room to its surroundings.
The facade is clad in T1-11 plywood scavenged by the architect and charred by the owner using a Japanese technique called shou sugi ban. This preserves the wood and creates a darker tone that helps blend the home into the surrounding forest.
The exterior of the drop-down panel is painted red. The floor is Masonite, the ceilings are plywood and the walls are drywall. polycarbonate panels were used for clerestory windows.
Scavenger Studio by Les Eerkes showcases the beauty of repurposing in such a delightful natural environment where the cabin completely blends in.
Design by Les Eerkes
Architect of Record: Olson Kundig
Yousman Okano (staff architect)
Location: Puget Sound, Washington, USA
Photography: Benjamin Benschneide