Tucked against the wall of a natural cliff and right on the water’s edge in Gig Harbor, Washington, this project answered the unique challenges of its site. The footprint for the new structure replaces an old guest house and boathouse, and was limited in its size by an agreement through a regulatory process.

The design solution makes the roof of the new structure an extension of the upland lawn, with a glass-enclosed elevator providing access to the two levels below. To the south, an outdoor living space is set between the house and a new boathouse. Stairs lead down to the water and are incorporated into a series of decks, terraces, and bridges that create spaces for living and entertaining. This area also features a wood-burning pizza oven and an outdoor fireplace.

Inside, the main level has the feel of a boat’s cabin, with warm Douglas fir ceilings, walls, and trim. Large oversized windows and doors invite the outside in, and allow for a completely free flow during the warm months. The exterior materials were selected for their abilities to withstand this marine environment, including copper, concrete, metal window cladding, and cedar. Sustainable techniques such as sunscreens, a green roof, and complete envelope integrity are featured.

Northwest Design Awards, Outdoor Living, 1st Place, 2006
Featured in PMG’s Home and Garden, Winter 2005/2006

Scott Allen, Principal Designer (project executed during Scott’s tenure as a named Principal at Olson Sundberg Kunding Allen OSKA) Architects.

Interior furnishings by OSKA

Tim Bies photography.

Cliff House
Ideabooks167
Questions0
living and dining area, outdoor living room beyond. Tim Bies photo
“le sol” — necilya
Cliff House green roof
Ideabooks1,361
Questions2
Green roof forms elevator entry. House is below along cliff face. Tim Bies photo
“Grass roof” — James Ward
Cliff House kitchen
Ideabooks127
Questions1
Open kitchen features copper and natural wood surfaces. Tim Bies photo.
“Lamps” — wantanwynee
Cliff House outdoor living area
Ideabooks269
Questions0
Outdoor living space between main house and boathouse features water and fireplace. Tim Bies photo.
“*DekoGefäße*” — melodie_fl
Cliff House at night from across the water
Ideabooks2,546
Questions3
Cliff House at night. Photo by Tim Bies
“Cool” — lauraojjeh
Boathouse with doors open looking to main house
Ideabooks6,561
Questions5
Tim Bies photo
“door” — podprez
Cliff House living room
Ideabooks315
Questions0
Multi-functional spaces employing quality, natural materials and timeless design is a hallmark of Scott Allen Architecture. Tim Bies photo.
“There should be some open spaces inside too, like this one.” — Lynn Mooney
Cliff House bathroom
Ideabooks141
Questions0
Clean, simple lines and quality materials reflect the homeowners' desire for beautiful, low-maintenance living. Tim Bies photo.
“Like” — saparker1spi
Boathouse/family room
Ideabooks395
Questions0
The ultimate indoor/outdoor living experience. Tim Bies photo.
“Another garage style door” — Pat Wade
Cliff House outdoor entertaining area
Ideabooks1,208
Questions3
Outdoor entertaining area connects the main house to the boathouse. Tim Bies photo.
“outdoor chimney” — amybrazil
Stunning, low-maintenance exterior
Ideabooks204
Questions1
The homeowner never wanted to paint again. Dream come true.
“LOWER DECK COMES OUT FARTHER” — kmbarner
© 2014 Houzz Inc.
Houzz® The new way to design your home™