Project Detail


The Pierre

San Juan Islands, WA United States

Olson Kundig Architects


Project Description


The Pierre, French word for “stone,” is a 2,500-square-foot residence inspired by the owner’s affection for a stone outcropping on her property and the views from the site. Conceived as a bunker nestled into the rock, from certain angles the house – with its rough materials, green roof, and surrounding lush foliage – almost disappears into nature.

To set the house into the site, portions of the rock outcropping were excavated using a combination of machine work and handwork. Excavated rock was reused as crushed aggregate in the concrete flooring throughout the house and as a boulder wall in the carport. Excavation marks were left exposed on all the stonework to serve as a reminder of the building process.

With the exception of a separate guest suite, the Pierre functions on one main level, with an open-plan kitchen, dining, and living space. Two large bookcases open to provide access to concealed laundry and kitchen storage. Throughout the house, the rock extrudes into the space, providing a sharp contrast to the refined textures of the furnishings.

Set at a right angle to the main spaces, the master suite features a custom-designed bed in the middle of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. The master bathroom’s sink consists of water cascading through three polished pools in the existing stone. Off the main space, a powder room is fully carved out of the rock.

Constantly bridging indoors and outdoors, the design features a wood-clad storage box that spans through an exterior wall, occupying both interior and exterior space. Also a large pivoting steel and glass door opens for access to an outdoor terrace. Interior and exterior fireplace hearths were carved out of existing stone; they’re leveled on top, but otherwise raw.

For more information on the 2014 AIA Honor Awards, please visit


Project Details

The Pierre
Shared by:
  • Civil Engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen 
  • Geotechnical Engineer: Associated Earth Sciences 
  • Structural Engineer: MCE Structural Consultants 
  • General Contractor: Schuchart/ Dow 
  • Photography: Benjamin Benschneider 
Project Scope:
Project Type:
Project Status:
Project Size:
    2,500 sq ft


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