A Compact, Low-Maintenance Cabin in Washington State

Located in a woodsy area on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, the Sol Duc Cabin was built as a low-maintenance retreat for a client that likes to fly-fish. Designed by Tom Kundig, of Olson Kundig Architects, the steel-clad cabin is 350 square feet and sits upon stilts, helping to protect the structure from occasional floods.

When there’s a storm or when the owner isn’t there, the compact cabin can be completely closed up for safe keeping. A massive panel slides to reveal floor-to-ceiling windows hidden behind it.

A cantilevered roof protects the interior and deck from the sun. The steel deck makes way for views of the river.

There are two floors inside – a living space down below and a sleeping loft above, the perfect amount of space for the owner and his wife.

The house is virtually indestructible thanks to the durability of steel. It naturally patinas over time.

Most of the structure’s elements were built off-site, including the steel frame and panels, the roof, shutters, and stairs, helping to reduce construction waste on the land.

The interior is simple, yet cozy and comfortable, providing everything one might need while staying there.

Photos by Benjamin Benschneider.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.