Agate Pass Cabin, Washington Real Estate, American Property, Seattle Architecture Images, Architect

Agate Pass Cabin on Olympic Peninsula

Design: Olson Kundig

Location: Olympic Peninsula, Washington, USA

Agate Pass Cabin Olympic Peninsula

Photos by Kevin Scott

Nov 23, 2020

Agate Pass Cabin

Agate Pass Cabin is the home of Alan Maskin, principal and owner of Olson Kundig, this project reflects Maskin’s longstanding interest in the various uses of history. The project includes an 1,100-square-foot renovation and building addition to the original 1930s cabin, interior design and landscape design, as well as an art and custom furniture collection. Maskin’s design intervention delineates the house’s two different eras: the 1930s and today.

Agate Pass Cabin Olympic Peninsula

Originally, the one-story cabin had low ceiling heights and an attic. The interior walls and ceilings were clad with wide planks of Douglas fir, which would have been plentiful in the area 100 years ago. For Maskin, this was one of the best qualities of the original house – throughout construction, he had a “what comes down must go up” policy for the original wood panels.

Agate Pass Cabin Olympic Peninsula

Each panel taken down for an alteration was repurposed in the new additions, becoming cabinets, new ceilings and storage areas. Throughout the design, Maskin worked to make the different construction periods legible. Modern additions are demarcated with different wood types from the original planks, making it clear to see what was “then” and what is “now.”

Agate Pass Cabin Olympic Peninsula Agate Pass Cabin Olympic Peninsula

Even though the house needed a large amount of work, for Maskin it was a dream project. He removed the low ceiling in the living room and turned the former attic space into a cathedral ceiling 17 feet tall at the gable. New foundations were added where none existed previously, and seismic upgrades were made. Maskin essentially added a second story to the house – a new stairway with orange plexiglass risers leads to a large bedroom. Here, floor-to-ceiling glass windows give expansive views of the water and Agate Pass. A small second floor terrace was added atop the original screened-in porch, which Maskin converted to a dining room and office. These rooms have views of two gardens that Maskin designed, including one with hardy plants inspired by visits to tropical areas.

Agate Pass Cabin Olympic Peninsula Agate Pass Cabin Olympic Peninsula

Maskin also designed most of the built-in furniture and cabinets. There are several custom-designed pieces, all made of glulam plywood as the main material, including a daybed in the living room, an armoire, and a bed with built-in storage underneath.

Agate Pass Cabin features works by Scott Fife, Sutton/Beres/Culler, Leiv Fagereng, Karen Rudd, Rebecca (Raven) Lucan, Chris Crites, David Eisenhour, Mary Larson and Klara Glosova amongst others.

Agate Pass Cabin Olympic Peninsula Agate Pass Cabin Olympic Peninsula

Agate Pass Cabin on Olympic Peninsula, Washington State – Building Information

Architects: Olson Kundig
Completed: 2014
Project Size: 1,100 SF
Project Team, Architecture: Alan Maskin, Design Principal and Interior Design; John Kennedy and Hill Pierce, Project Architects
Project Team, Landscape Design: Alan Maskin, Hardscapes; Duane West and Brian McLaughlin, Plants

Key Consultants:
General Contractor: Krekow Jennings, General Contractor; Nic Rossouw, Giraf Design, Structural Engineer; Niteo, Lighting Design

Agate Pass Cabin Olympic Peninsula Agate Pass Cabin Olympic Peninsula

“My work life and love life were separated by Elliott Bay and a three-hour commute. I was looking for a small, extremely inexpensive fixer-upper. In my dreams, I wanted it to be a small cabin with a view of the water – hopefully with some character – and located somewhere in the middle of my two primary destinations. I heard there was a house that might go up for sale, so I went to see it. It was a 1930s beach cabin in pretty rough shape, but it was nicely proportioned and had stained wood interiors. When I climbed onto the roof, I realized there would be a nice view of Agate Passage if I built a second-floor addition. I hired a residential building inspector to check it out and make sure that buying such a rundown house wasn’t insane. While he was underneath looking at the foundations of the house, I noticed twelve bald eagles flying directly over the house. Let’s just say that after that, the inspector’s report didn’t seem as necessary!” – Alan Maskin, Design Principal

“I started sketching ideas immediately after buying the house. Shortly afterwards, I became an owner at Olson Kundig and that required my focus for a while. Finally, in 2008, I decided I was tired of sleeping on a mattress in an unheated attic and I asked John Kennedy, a friend and former colleague from work, to help with the drawings and detailing. We had worked well together designing a museum a few years earlier and it was an opportunity to collaborate again. It took about six months to get the building permit and seven months to build.” – Alan Maskin, Design Principal

“This cabin serves as the ideal antidote to my daily life, where I am constantly working on intense projects, going to meetings, and traveling. Out here there are no streetlights, very little noise. It’s monastic in a way that I really love.” – Alan Maskin, Design Principal

Agate Pass Cabin Olympic Peninsula Agate Pass Cabin Olympic Peninsula

Photography: Kevin Scott

Agate Pass Cabin, Olympic Peninsula images / information received 231120

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