- Sustainable Architecture
- A boathouse on the Hood Canal, Hoedemaker Pfeiffer
The Hood Canal is a scenic waterway in northern Washington that connects to the Puget Sound. Surrounded by a breath-taking nature and a lush forest, right in front of the fjord, the building that was redesigned by the Hoedemaker Pfeiffer studio was built in the 1950s.
The project involved a typical boathouse just like many others overlooking the shores of the state of Washington, built in cement and provided with no windows. The Seattle-based architects redesigned it for its owners, a couple with two children, and their friends, creating a cosy structure, well engaged in the landscape. They did so without altering the height or footprint of the building, fully respecting the surrounding environment, and adopting design solutions allowing to double its surface area.
The architects created a building whose external walls are made of cedar and concrete masonry blocks and whose interiors are warm and welcoming thanks to the use of marine plywood. The focus of the intervention by Hoedemaker Pfeiffer are the two, giant entrance sliding doors on both the longer sides of the boathouse, that bring ample natural light in. When they are open, these doors extend beyond the building and create two outdoor “rooms” on either side providing shelter from off shore breezes and creating a pleasant outdoor area. The doors are in steel, to protect the house from bad weather and vandalism.
In contrast with its hard-looking exteriors, the interiors of the house are warm, and its walls are made from locally sourced plywood featuring beautiful grains. The loft hosting the bedroom can be accessed via drop-down stairs in salvaged wood. These stairs can be lifted during the winter to make room for storing the family’s boat. The loft is lined by a protective railing made of wood and cables. A horizontal band of windows brings ample natural light into the space and offers elevated views of the scenic landscape.
With its modern and timeless aesthetics, and faithful to its first use, although redesigned according to today’s architectural standards, the Hood Canal Boathouse is the perfect place to relax after a day out sailing, or to go for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city life.
Architecture: Hoedemaker Pfeiffer https://hoedemakerpfeiffer.com/
Interior design: Garrett Cord Werner
Contractor: Fairbank Construction
Landscape: Leuner Landscape Designs
Location: Hood Canal, Washington
Images: Alex Hayden