The Pierre by Olson Kundig Architects
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.
To set the house deep into the site, portions of the rock outcropping were excavated through a combination of machine work and handwork. The contractor used large drills to set the outline of the building, then used dynamite, hydraulic chippers, and wire saws and other hand tools, working with finer and finer implements as construction progressed. Excavated rock was reused as crushed aggregate in all the stonework, a reminder of the building process, while huge pieces of rock were employed for the carport structure.
All images courtesy of Olson Kundig Architects
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 Olson, Tom Kundig, Kirsten R. Murray, Alan 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.
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159 South Jackson Street
Suite 600, Seattle, WA