Summit Lake is a pristine mountain lake set in a glacial valley just south of Olympia, Washington. An active family from Seattle’s Eastside asked us to design a new cabin for weekend and summer getaways on a south-facing site on the lake shore.

The land slopes dramatically from the driveway down to the lake, and our house had only a small allowable footprint in between an existing parking pad and an environmental setback from the waterfront. Our solution was to treat the cabin as a small tower, with entry from the parking pad on the top floor, and living and sleeping spaces descending in an axial path down to the lake.

Formally, the house borrows from the rustic and simple structures of the early Pacific Northwest settlements such as fire lookout towers and mining shacks.


New 2-bedroom house on a forested lakeside lot

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