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A Modern Cabin in Washington Is a Floating Oasis on the Water

09.14.21 | By
A Modern Cabin in Washington Is a Floating Oasis on the Water
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Designed by Jim Olson of Olson Kundig as an oasis on the water, the Water Cabin is a 1,580-square-foot retreat with 180-degree views. The floating home resides on Portage Bay in Washington State with western red cedar siding inspired by weathered cabins. The vertical slats, hung irregularly like trees in a forest, will weather over the years yet they’ll require minimal maintenance. A low galvanized steel structure supports oversized roof planes that protect from the elements while enjoying the outdoor spaces. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors open to connect the interior with the exterior deck, thereby expanding the usable space.

modern cabin floating in the water with houses behind on a hill

modern cabin floating in the water with houses behind on a hill

modern cabin floating in the water with houses behind on a hill

modern cabin floating in the water

modern cabin floating in the water

floating houses attached to walkway

modern cabin floating in the water with docked sailboat

modern cabin floating in the water with sliding glass doors open

modern outdoor sitting area with chair

entryway with front door leading into floating house

modern interior of floating cabin on water

The lower level is as an open living space with the living room, office, kitchen and dining room combined. Each of the spaces has ever-changing views of the water as the light and the activity on the water changes throughout the day.

modern living room of floating cabin on water

modern interior of floating cabin on water

The interior is also designed with wood being the prominent material, with warm oak floors and casework juxtaposing silver and black metals. The ceilings are clad with Russian birch plywood that extends out to the exterior soffits.

modern interior of floating cabin on water

modern kitchen in floating house

modern kitchen in floating house looking out to water

modern interior of floating cabin on water

modern interior of floating cabin on water

The office area becomes an additional bedroom with the built-in Murphy bed.

modern interior of floating cabin on water with murphy bed

modern interior of floating cabin on water with murphy bed

modern living room with closed panel wall

small bathroom with concrete walls

modern staircase with person walking up to second floor

modern staircase looking up to windows on second floor

modern bedroom in floating house overlooking surrounding water

The main bedroom is located upstairs with framed views of the water. There’s also a deck that extends out for relaxing and to watch the boats pass.

modern bedroom in floating house overlooking surrounding water

exterior view into modern bedroom of floating house

modern bathroom of floating house

modern floating house on water in the evening

Photos by Aaron Leitz.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director 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.