Tsunami House, Camano Island WA.

Design Team: Dan Nelson, Principal Architect
Tom Rochon, Project Architect
Jason Lindquist, Structural Engineer
Interior design: H2K Design
Landscape Architect, Scott Lankford
Photographer: Lucas Henning

The Tsunami House is a waterfront home located on a 3,140 square foot site in a high velocity flood (V) zone on the northern end of Camano Island. The building footprint was limited to a 30’ x 30’ pad.
The 887 square foot main living level had to be located 5' above grade and the foundations had to be designed on pilings capable of withstanding high velocity tsunami wave action. The lower 748 square foot space had to be designed with walls that were able to break away in the event of a storm surge.
Our design strategy was to locate the main living level 9' above grade and leave the lower level to be used as a flexible multi use space dubbed the “Flood Room.” Clear glass overhead doors open up to the waterside deck facing north, and translucent overhead doors open to the entry courtyard facing south, allowing privacy from the road.
The depth of the lot is only 50' deep and required an above ground sand filter drain field that was 10 ' wide. In order to integrate the sand filter into the limited site, it was encased in 3' high architectural concrete walls and covered with a pervious sun deck on top of the drain field. The drain field/sun deck also acts as a visual barrier between the road and the house providing privacy when all the overhead doors are open.
A steel stair constructed of bent plate steel leads up to the main living area, which is designed as a great room with the kitchen, living, dining, and a 198 square foot third level sleeping loft facing the water. The master bedroom located adjacent to the great room has sliding translucent doors that let light into the space and open up to the water view.
The exterior materials of the house are durable and low maintenance. The architectural concrete columns are left exposed and the exterior siding is a mixture of composite and galvanized standing seam panels and aluminum windows. The lower level floor is polished concrete with radiant in floor heat and the ceilings are covered with western red cedar to add warmth to the otherwise industrial feeling of the lower level.
The upper level is more refined with porcelain tiles on the floor, western red cedar on the ceiling and a sculptured “wave” plaster panel and milled finished steel trim surrounding the fireplace. The interior ship ladder and loft railings are mill finish steel throughout. References to the natural world are made throughout the interiors.

The Tsunami House recently won an Honor Award for design excellence from the Northwest Washington chapter of the American Institute of Architects and has been posted on Contemporist and Inhabitat.

View from beach at twilight.
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“mixture of materials” — cupik
View from road.
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“Gal steel posts bolted to concrete” — ProjectXY
View from road.
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“Very similar set of constraints” — abcounts
“Fence” — doggy4me
Walk to entry courtyard.
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“Fence” — michellewiebe
Entry courtyard.
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“Man door” — Vince Lahey
“garage” — mamad1983
Cabana with courtyard doors open.
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“Hmmm” — kw12032
Entry.
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“Hurricane Proof Home” — doraw
Entry courtyard and sun deck.
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The sun deck is built over a sand filter drain field, supported by an architectural concrete wall.
Stair to sun deck.
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“love how the stringer looks like it was bent into the stair shape. forget the wood pieces on the tr” — Ocelli Design
Fence door detail.
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“wood slat inlaid into metal” — Shawback Design
“Shipping container” — Andrea Broaders-Tombs
“Garage door unconventional use” — flannerygirl
“big open area/ free space” — jeremyrobertbrooks
Lower level cabana at sunset.
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“Garage doors” — faithelder
Lower level cabana.
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“Furniture” — jjenkins11
Lower level cabana media wall.
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“TV” — almrud
Cabana with murphy beds down.
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“Garage” — bachmann2014
Entry stair.
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“colors, wood + concrete” — miamiluxuryrealestate
Steel Stair detail.
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“steel stairs” — mmhsu
Steel stair detail
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“Dan Nelson, Designs Northwest Architects www.designsnw.com/ Camano Island, WA” — Cabana Home
Lower level bath and entry stair.
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“BATH ENTRY” — lalaloohoo
Lower level bath with door open.
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“Porte coulissante pourrait être miroir mais beau miroir avec moulure de bois...” — ajvachon
Cabana bath.
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“Like the decor and look of this house” — csmcswain
Cabana bath.
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“Dan Nelson, Designs Northwest Architects Architects & Designers Cabana bath. URL www.designsnw” — Cabana Home
Cabana bath
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“Sink” — amymchugh
Stair Landing.
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“Dan Nelson, Designs Northwest Architects www.designsnw.com/ Camano Island, WA” — Cabana Home
Landing detail.
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“Details, details, details!” — tomusa123
Upper level entry.
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“style” — geetan0421
Living room.
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“TJs” — tinni02
“Fireplace” — Mindy Koff
Dining room.
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“The table” — mrscrater
Living Room.
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“Storage” — Lib Neisham
Bay window with views to Skagit Bay.
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“Reading corner - near window - take a nap in the afternoon sun with a book in hand - remind me of th” — Enchante Moore
Bay window with views to Skagit Bay.
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“Ceiling lights” — spyrinq
Steel ship ladder.
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“ladder” — kbarnettlda
Ship ladder to loft
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“ladder” — kbarnettlda
View from loft.
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“Railings” — Buffett Design
Living - dining space.
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“Wired lighting. Rug. Big windows” — chrisandian
Dining space
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View to master bedroom.
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“Separating the bedroom from the loft. Not likely for us but cool” — Jennifer Turns
“Doors” — jilliangerber
Master bedroom.
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“Pillow” — tanyapitkin
“doors” — brunty
Master bedroom dressing area.
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“closet side of side headboard closet. and the view - the reason why master bedroom takes this unusu” — cattaill
Guest bath.
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“Sink configuration” — keileen
Guest bath.
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“Here the toilet paper is mounted on side of vanity. If we have a ponywall, would it be on the side” — lran
Guest bedroom.
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“window seats if not couch?” — rushthrutime
Guest bedroom.
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“Trim detail around closet doors and wainscotting” — Hoffman Design
“if you never move the bed nightstand” — rnsaito
View from water side.
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“Garage doors” — Brian Scott
View from road at twilight.
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“Fence” — michellewiebe
Sun deck detail.
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“Au lieu du garage....” — 4kats
Waterside terrace at twilight.
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“sweet lake house” — jcm1012
View from beach.
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“Nice spot” — tamaraaronson
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