The Pierre by Olson Kundig Architects

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Location: San Juan Islands, Washington, US

Area: 250 m2

Year: 2010

Design Principal: Tom Kundig

Project Manager: Christopher Gerrick
Interior Designer: Charlie Hellstern


2014AIA National Honor Awards, Architecture Award

AIA National Honor Awards, Interior Architecture Award

2013Architizer A+ Popular Choice Awards, Finalist, Residential Single Family Home

2012AIA National Housing Awards, Housing Award

AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Honor Awards, Honor Award

AIA Seattle Honor Awards, Honor Award

Builder’s Choice Design & Planning Awards, Builder’s Choice Grand Award

Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Awards, American Architecture Award

IIDA Interior Design Awards, Interior Design Award, Best of Competition

2011Northwest Design Awards, First Place: Exotic Retreats

Washington Aggregates & Concrete Association, Excellence in Concrete Construction

2010World Architecture News House of the Year Awards, House of the Year


The owner’s affection for a stone outcropping on her property inspired the design of this house. Conceived as a retreat nestled into the rock, the Pierre (the French word for stone) celebrates the materiality of the site. 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. Its 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.


All images courtesy of Olson Kundig Architects


Olson Kundig is a full-service design firm whose work includes residences (often for art collectors), museums and exhibition design, hospitality projects, commercial design, academic buildings, interior design, landscape design, and places of worship.

The firm is led by five owners—Jim OlsonTom KundigKirsten R. MurrayAlan Maskin, and Kevin Kudo-King—who are supported by eleven principals, fifteen associates, and a staff of approximately 140 in the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood of downtown Seattle. The firm opened a workspace in New York in 2014 to better serve its expanding roster of East Coast and international clients. The in-house interiors studio, founded in 2000, provides a full range of services, including material selection, custom furniture design, and purchasing capabilities. The landscape design studio provides in-house design services dedicated to artfully integrating nature and the built environment.

The firm began its creative existence in 1966 with the architect Jim Olson, whose work at that time centered on explorations of the relationship between dwellings and the landscapes they inhabit. Olson started the firm based on the essential ideas that buildings can serve as a bridge between nature, culture, histories, and people, and that inspiring surroundings have a positive effect on people’s lives.

Read more here


159 South Jackson Street
Suite 600, Seattle, WA
98104 USA

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