A beautiful spot for waterfront cabins and seasonal retreats, Washington’s Useless Bay is also an area that presents unique challenges. Here the architects were commissioned by Hoedemaker Pfeiffer to build a single-family home in place of an old cottage that had been passed down from generation to generation. The site sits atop a 100-year-old man-made arbor that creates a separation between the freshwater wetland on one side and the open water on the other.
Building codes in this area dictate that all structures must meet the highest flood codes, as winter storms can inundate riparian properties with corrosive salt water. As a result, the architects came up with a design that elevates the house on concrete pillars and allows water to flow freely underneath.
The entire structure also had to be strong and durable to withstand the strong south-west winds. At the same time it had to be a comfortable retreat, a place where family and friends could gather in small and large groups to enjoy the scenery, fresh air and relaxed atmosphere. All 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. Walls are clad in whitewashed spruce and floors are polished concrete, creating a modern coastal feel throughout the home.