City Cabin featured in Dwell


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Dwell magazine recently featured the City Cabin we built, designed by Olson Kundig. For the design, architect Jim Olson drew inspiration from his Cabin in Longbranch.

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The client, an avid environmentalist, requested that the 2,400-square foot residence aim for net-zero energy, but forego certification. She also requested that the home feel like a wild sanctuary within the city.

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Reclaimed Douglas fir planks from a barn in Eastern Washington, clad the exterior. Dovetail’s metal shop fabricated the custom galvanized steel downspouts and canopies.

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The interior walls are clad in A/C-grade plywood. The kitchen cabinets, built by Dovetail’s wood shop, are made of fir and galvanized steel and the counter top is cast-in-place concrete with an integral color. The island counter top is a slab of Douglas fir dredged from a slough in the Skagit Valley and carbon-dated to 2,700 years old.

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The windows are triple-pane from Unilux in Germany. The reclaimed exterior cladding is used sparingly inside, as well. Additional environmental strategies include an 8.4-kW photovoltaic array, a green roof, an air-to-water heat pump, radiant heat, low-energy appliances, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Passive solar strategies were also applied to optimize natural ventilation and light.