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Waterfront Family Retreat

Washington’s Useless Bay is a beautiful spot for waterfront cabins and seasonal retreats, but also an area that poses special challenges. Here the architects from Hoedemaker Pfeiffer were commissioned to build a single-family house in place of an old hut that has been passed on from generation to generation. The site is on a 100 year old man-made spike that creates a separation between the freshwater wetland on one side and the open water on the other.

The building regulations in this area dictate that all structures must meet the highest flood regulations, as winter storms can flood the riverside properties with caustic salt water. As a result, the architects developed a design that rises the house on concrete pillars and allows the water to flow unhindered underneath.

The entire structure also had to be resilient and durable in order to withstand the strong winds from the southwest. At the same time, it had to be a pleasant retreat, a place where family and friends could gather in small and large groups to enjoy the scenery, the fresh air and the relaxed atmosphere. All of this results in a casual and inviting beach style interior design with light and airy colors and simple finishes. The interior design is also very symmetrical to the point where the great room has two fireplaces on opposite walls and is flanked by identical bedrooms. The walls are clad with whitewashed spruce and the floors are polished concrete, which creates a modern coastal feel throughout the house.

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