Just above Hood Canal, Washington, in the midst of a second-growth forest rises this small in footprint, but expansive in view cabin designed by MW Works. If the fog has cleared, distant Dabob Bay is framed by huge glass windows making up most of the north and west sections of the dwelling. The south and east are clad mostly in oxidized black cedar and blackened cement, to both blend into the dark trees and rich earth surrounding the cabin, and also to preserve privacy as guests approach.

The entire building was constructed on an existing foundation to lessen the expense. Constrained by the 20 ft bt 20 ft foundation, the cabin rises two stories and makes use of skylights to open and seemingly clear space in the rectangular silo. At night, starlight pours through. Light plywood and pine that make up the interior, added for brightness and warmth on grey, drizzly PNW days.

Trails wind down from the cabin to the sea. A mudroom on the bottom floor sequesters sticky boots perhaps muddied from clamming, trail runners mucked up from dashes through the pines. The countless inlets, bays, and islands of the Puget Sound area are ripe for exploration. A cabin like this, humble, though elegant and well-planned, would make one heck of a cozy staging ground. It gets bonus points for being modern and sophisticated while blending seamlessly into the forest.

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Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.

Photos: Andrew Pogue


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