Did you know that ‘Pierre’ was the French word for ‘stone’? We certainly didn’t. But, after seeing this stunning Washington property, a retreat nestled into the rock of Washington’s Lopez Island and aptly-named ‘The Pierre’, we’re not likely to forget.
It’s a striking house. From certain angles, the house — with its rough materials, encompassing stone, green roof, and surrounding foliage — almost disappears into nature.
With the exception of a separate guest suite, the house functions on one main level, with an open-plan kitchen, dining, and living space. A wood-clad storage box (made with siding reclaimed from a Lionel Pries–designed house) transitions from outside to inside.
Two large bookcases open to provide concealed access to laundry and kitchen storage. A large pivoting steel and glass door provides access to a terrace. Set at a right angle to the main space, a master suite features a custom-designed bed with a leather headboard and footboard set in the middle of floor-to ceiling bookshelves. It’s a slick operation.
And, throughout the house, the rock protrudes into the space, contrasting with the luxurious textures of the furnishings. Interior and exterior fireplace hearths are carved out of existing stone and, in the master bathroom, water cascades through three polished pools, natural sinks in the existing stone. Off the main space, a powder room is carved out of the rock; a mirror set within a skytube reflects natural light into the space.
Designed by Tom Kundig, The Pierre follows the architect’s tradition of building on the least productive part of a site, leaving the best parts free for cultivation. In this case, that meant excavating into the rock outcropping through a combination of machine work, large drills and even dynamite. The excavated rock was crushed and used in the concrete flooring and excavation marks were left exposed on the stonework — as a reminder how raw, natural and close to nature this property truly is.
The Pierre, Lopez Island
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