North Beach is a 2,400 sf waterfront retreat on Orcas Island designed by the Seattle-based firm Heliotrope Architects and built by David Shore, which brings the outdoors inside...
Architect: Heliotrope Architects Location: Orcas Island, WA, USA Contractor: David Shore Building Area: 2,400sf Photography: Sean Airhart
From the architect: The design brief called for a very low-impact, easy to maintain summer home that provides necessary programmatic functions with minimum distractions from the land and the view. The design response situates the structure among mature fir trees located directly between the beach and an upland meadow, with walls of glass opening out to both.
Steel columns minimize visible structure from the interior, while metal-clad wall elements provide a bold form when seen from the exterior. The roof is vegetated, which filters rainwater that in turn is collected and stored for use in irrigation. Potable hot water and hydronic heating are aided by solar collectors on the roof, and PV panel s above the vegetable garden provide supplemental electricity. The home is intended for occupancy from May through October, and systems have been designed to zero out electricity use over the course of a full year.