In the woods half an hour from Northern Idaho, you’ll find a box-like construction with a huge 23″ tall x 18″ wide window wall. The door opens up the entire living area to the surrounding landscape making the forest and lake become a mesmerising part of the cabin designed by Seattle-based Olson-Kundig. In our opinion, this might be the world’s most beautiful door!
The Chicken Point Cabin
The owners of this unique country residence expressed interest in maximizing the cabin’s close connection with nature. They live half an hour from the property and wanted to use the cabin all year-round – but mostly in the summer. The window-wall was Olson Kundig’s solution to bridging this gap between inside and outside while still being practical.
A raw and simple construction
The Chicken Point Cabin concept is designed with three main materials to ensure low maintenance: concrete blocks and floors, steel and plywood. A raw and simple look is kept by leaving walls, floors and metal in it’s naked form to naturally age and acquire a beautiful patina that fits in with the natural setting.
Thinking “outside the box”
Olsen Kundig Architects are well-know for being the masterminds behind impressive door-solutions found in architecture today. And people have described their work as half-machine, half-architecture. The Chicken Point Cabin is no exception in this matter: the 6-ton steel and glass wall opens up to 90 degrees via a hand-cranked mechanical contraption employing a counterbalance through a set of gears. Because of this technique it requires very little force to open the entire wall.
The rest of the cabin includes a plywood loft with a master suite which overlooks the living space. Additional bedrooms, kitchen and open living area are on each side of a large stairway found in the center. Besides the glass-wall you’ll find a 19-foot tall steel entry door and to fulfill the industrial look throughout the house, a 4-foot diameter steel fireplace shoots up from the main living-area.
- Size: 3,140 square feet (957 square meters)
- Project Team: Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA, Design Principal; Steven Rainville, AIA, LEED® AP, Project Architect; Debbie Kennedy, LEED® AP ID+C, Interior Design
- Key Consultants: MC Construction, General Contractor; Monte Clark Engineering, Structural Engineer; Moser, Inc., Design/build Mechanical System; Turner Exhibits, Gizmo Fabricator and Engineer
- Craftspeople: All New Glass, Big Window; Star Steel, Steel Structure and Bong; Steve Clark, Fabricator (table, cabinets and beds)