As many of us have to live in big cities surrounded by concrete and pollution for most of our lives, it comes as no surprise that many of us want to escape to the tranquility of nature. The owner of the Eagle Ridge residence is an artist who fell in love with Orcas Island in Washington a little over 5 decades ago when she had the opportunity to visit this peaceful paradise.
When she finally got the opportunity to purchase a lot of land there, she decided to commission a luxurious residence on the lot, a residence that would feature an open design and a direct connection to its beautiful environment.
The project was carried out by Gary Gladwish Architecture, whose experts made sure that the residence would feature its own study, master suite, kitchen/dining area, storage facilities and an art studio. The materials used in the construction process involve steel, barn wood, rocks and even moss. The Eagle Ridge home is divided by an entry garden and is surrounded by amazing madrone trees, thrisle and beech.
From the Gary Gladwish Architecture:
54 years ago she visited Orcas Island for the first time and decided that one day she would live there. 40 years passed before she saw it again and purchased a forested piece of land on a hillside populated with madrone trees, firs, beech, thistle, moss and rocks with magnificent views to the west. Throughout her life rocks, nature and landscape played an important role in her artwork. It was this attraction that convinced her that this was the perfect site for her.
She requested an open, simple, low maintenance design which works with the site in such a way that her views of the island, forest and ledges were always present within the house. Each part of the house was to be designed to accommodate the inevitable bad hips, knees and back. The program consists of a combined kitchen-dining-living area, study, master suite, art studio and storage area.
The solution utilizes some of her favorite materials; old barn wood, rusty steel, moss and rocks. Large doors slide away to open the house to the expansive views, creating a living room in the woods. The entry garden bisects the house creating two zones while it carries the site and the eye out to the view. The 800 s.f. art studio and storage area are left raw to facilitate converting them to additional bedrooms at a later date.
Photos by Will Austin