Agosta House

Agosta House in San Juan Island, Washington by Patkau Architects, 2000

Recipient of a 2001 Honor Award from the Seattle Chapter of the AIA, the Agosta House is located on San Juan Island in Washington state. The following words and text are by the house's architect, Patkau Architects.

A private residence for a couple relocating from Manhattan to San Juan Island in Washington State. In addition to conventional domestic requirements the program of the house included an office, in which the couple intend to continue their professional work, and also a garden enclosed within a 12 foot tall fence to protect it from the numerous deer which run wild throughout the island.

The property on which the house is located consists of 43 acres largely covered by second-growth Douglas Fir forest. The site of the house within the larger property is a grassed meadow, enclosed on 3 sides by the dark fir forest, but open to the northwest where it overlooks rolling fields below and, beyond, across Haro Strait to the gulf islands of British Columbia.

The house is stretched across the ridge of the meadow, almost as a spatial dam, to divide the site into an enclosed forecourt to the southeast, a spatial reservoir which is released through the house to the panorama below, a spatial sea of picturesque fields and waterways.

The building section is ‘battered’, walls and roof sloped, to respond to the gentle slope of the site. The spatial organization of the house is the result of extruding this simple section and manipulating this extrusion either by erosion to create exterior in-between spaces which subdivide the house programmatically into general planning zones or by insertion of non-structural bulkheads which organize the interior into finer spatial areas.