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Longbranch Cabin

You'd think that a 14-square-foot bunk house that's been expanded multiple times over decades would be a bit of an architectural disaster. But the Longbranch Cabin is no ordinary bunk house, and Jim Olson is no ordinary architect. Built in 1959, the original structure was remodeled in 1981, 1997, 2003, and 2014, each time expanding while reusing the already existing structure. The result is a series of boxes unified under a single roof, with shared modest details — like plywood sheathing and fir flooring both inside and out — that belie its talented owner and picturesque location on Puget Sound.

  • Chicken Point Cabin

    The name sounds like something out of The Dukes of Hazzard, but make no mistake: there's nothing kitschy about Chicken Point Cabin. Created by the minimalist wizards at Olson Kundig, this rectangular getaway employs a huge hand-cranked 20' x 30' window wall to open the living space to the lake in Northern Idaho on which it sits. The home is approach both from the water and the road, with a 19-foot steel door offering access on the forest side. Inside, there's a master suite in the plywood loft above the main living area, extra bedrooms on either side, and exposed blocks, beams, and supports that give the space a industrial feel that contrasts with the surrounding wilderness.

    Photos: Olson Kundig

  • Hupomone Ranch

    Set on 160 acres just a few miles outside of Petaluma, the Hupomone Ranch is an efficient ode to the land's agricultural roots. The bright white home has bedrooms in three corners, with the kitchen occupying the fourth and an open living area in the center, complete with an all-glass wall that opens onto the patio and lawn. Facing the main building is a separate pool house with wash room and covered bar that's open to the concrete deck. The house is certified LEED Platinum, with both passive and geothermal heating and cooling, and solar panels to help offset energy usage — fitting for a family committed to sustainable farming.

    Photos: David Wakely / Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects