Architect: Tom Kundig (Photo: Benjamin Benschneider)

The Pierre

A Washington cabin set in stone

Denise Hopkins

Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.

This retreat on San Juan Island in Washington is set in stone. Literally.

Carved into the rocky outcropping of the sloped, grassy site, the 2,500-square-foot getaway is nearly camouflaged by its concrete walls and green roof. Heavy equipment—large drills, dynamite, hydraulic chippers—and the handwork of talented craftspeople made the two-bedroom home a reality.

The open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area’s sidewalls are made of thick, poured-in-place concrete. Both end walls are floor-to-ceiling rectangular black steel windows. A glass-and-steel pivoting door opens to a terrace that’s notched and leveled into the rocks outside.

Signs of the challenging construction are visible throughout the home and contrast sharply with the luxurious furnishings. The house’s entrance is a narrow niche carved from the rock. A powder room’s stone walls and arched ceiling show the effort and tools used to chisel out the space. A vertical shaft lets in light that’s reflected on a tall, thin mirror over the metal sink. Massive raw stone slabs were carved back and leveled for the hearths of the indoor and outdoor fireplaces. 

Filed to:
Lead Photo: Benjamin Benschneider

promo logo