TEAM: Andrew Pattee – California Polytechnic State University

A Nomadic Approach to Comfort

The project takes a look at the hospitality industry through a study of human perceptions of comfort. The retreat is sited in the San Juan Islands where weather changes quickly and drastically. The site itself is comprised of grassy slopes that roll down to the ocean on the north and fifty foot cliffs, waves crashing at their feet on the south. The two sides are very different from each other in exposure to wind and sunlight as well as their aesthetic character. The project is designed to take advantage of each’s unique, polarizing nature, emphasizing the verticality and exposure on the south and the horizontal aspects and natural protection on the north side.

These very different design features brought on the idea of a nomadic comfort.

The building, though entirely interconnected, contains a living space, bedroom, and bathroom on both the north and the south. This allows the occupants to move in a nomadic way, to wherever they feel most comfortable. The isolated site lends itself to introspection so to promote this, the retreat includes two spaces for contemplation: one rooted in darkness, the other in light. The seclusion also forces self-sufficiency, so the greenhouse and adjacent kitchen are shared between the two sides.

The site was chosen in-person on a kayaking expedition, and the deciding factor was the observed character of the site. The project uses materials and construction techniques that leave the carved out stone uncovered and the site easily relatable, bridging the connection between the occupants and the surroundings.

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