Drawbridge-Style Stairs Lift Up to Secure Treehouse Retreat
Like something out of a classic storybook – or modern zombie movie, perhaps – the stairs leading up too this treehouse retreat can be pulled up mechanically to isolate the home and upper deck (both a full floor above the ground), in turn letting residents sleep tight inside and worry less when away.
Located along the Hood Canal in western Washington state, this towering vacation cabin by Castanes Architects is only eight hundred square feet, but feels massive thanks to its tall multi-story interior and huge waterfront-facing windows.
The exterior is comprised clear-sealed cedar and fiber cement panels while the interior features light birch plywood, raw spiral concrete-and-metal stairs and stainless steel details.
From within, the sharp-angled front seems to carve a clearing through the trees to create space for forward views, drawing inside eyes ever outward, while two-story architectural elements tie the first and second stories together, visually connecting the entire space.
More from the architects
“This angular vacation cabin, all 800 sf of it, serves as an accessible weekend retreat for an active professional couple who jet off to Japan professionally, and race bicycles in velodromes in their spare time. Nestled deep in a ravine within steps of the Hood Canal waterfront, the cabin is perched on four massive concrete columns and accessed by a motorized stair that can be lifted like a drawbridge for security when the owners are away. Light floods into the living spaces through a Mondrian-inspired corner window yielding 16′ high views of forest tree trunks and the placid waters of the Canal.”
“The escapist yearnings of the clients are reflected in the unusual material choices – clear-sealed cedar siding abuts eggplant-hued fiber cement panels on the exterior. Brought inside, the same eggplant paint contrasts elegantly with clear-sealed birch plywood panels. These panels are fixed to the walls with stainless steel finish screws and washers, yielding a subtle sparkling pattern in geometric counterpart to the figured grain of the plywood. A galvanized steel stair wraps around a monolithic concrete column, giving access to the two sleeping lofts. The repetitive lines of the eastern maple railings are integrated into the two-story bookcase and the kitchen casework. The compact kitchen features an expanse of copper counter flowing smoothly into integrally formed sink bowls; the work counter can be lowered by screw jack to dining height.”