Olson Kundig Architects designed Shadowboxx, an open residence flanked by trees and a rising bank, on the island of Lopez in the U.S. state of Washington. According to the architects, the residence aims to “facilitate an intimate understanding of this special place and explores the tradition of gathering around a fire“. When the giant shutters are not closed for protection, the exterior of the house can be easily mistaken for a compact mass of steel clad glass.

A very strong connection with the outdoors was enabled: “The building purposely confuses the traditional boundaries between a built structure and its surroundings. Its masses are modeled by winds off the water, exterior cladding is allowed to weather and rust, and shifting doors, shutters, walls and roofs constantly modulate the threshold between inside and outside“. A seamless transition from one room to another may remind one of the layout of an art gallery. The most spectacular interior of the Shadowboxx is probably the bathhouse, topped by a roof that can be detached at the push of a button.