San Juan Cliffside by Prentiss Architects

Location: San Juan Island, Washington, USA
Year: 2010
Photo courtesy: Jay Goodrich
Description:

The project site is located on a forested ridge on San Juan Island.  The steep topography created both design and construction challenges. The project is divided into two structures.  The smaller structure houses a studio, office, and garage.  The larger structure is a primary residence for a couple.  

san-juan-cliffside-01

They are connected by a garden derived from the existing harsh terrain and a Japanese garden concept which moves one from the entry gate up the 10 feet to the entry door. Sited on the edge of a forested bluff overlooking the Coast of San Juan Island, the main residence is composed of two volumes.

san-juan-cliffside-02

In response to the steep site one volume is embedded into the bluff forming the foundation then extending vertically to mark the entry and define a series of exterior spaces. The gabled volume is turned off the foundation extending out to the support of a concrete chimney.  The Multi-axial configuration is oriented to define views from the indoor rooms and create a connection to the landscape through a variety of exterior spaces on and below the volumes.  

san-juan-cliffside-03

The separate studio and garage structure are sited to define the entry to the site.  Walls extend from the various structures to frame view and define a progression through the natural landscape to the entry of the main residence.

san-juan-cliffside-04 san-juan-cliffside-05 san-juan-cliffside-06 san-juan-cliffside-07 san-juan-cliffside-08 san-juan-cliffside-09

Thank you for reading this article!