An old tool shed has undergone a dramatic transformation in the hands of James Cutler, principal architect at American design practice Cutler Anderson Architects. Reimagined as a cozy, multipurpose cabin, the Studio / Bunkhouse now serves as a work and living space for James and his 12-year-old daughter. Nestled in the woods and faced with a large expanse of glass, the 80-square-foot cabin embraces stunning views of Puget Sound on Washington’s Bainbridge Island.
Placed just 30 feet away from the main house, Studio / Bunkhouse serves as a compact getaway accessible via a raised wooden walkway. The foundation was made using bags of ready-mix concrete, while the building was framed by James and his daughter out of locally milled rough-sawn Douglas Fir timbers. He also covered the exterior in rigid insulation as well as overlapping custom-cut 16-by-24-inch Corten steel shingles, which complement the surrounding Madrone and Cedar trees. A large window wraps around the west side to let in light and frame landscape views.
“During the daytime hours, the building is a design studio, yet when the daughter comes home, she often joins her father and curls up on the lower bunk to read (it’s warm and cozy now),” according to the project statement. “Then, they switch the computer to TV mode and watch the evening news or movies. Since built, the building has surprised the designer and family by becoming the cozy, de facto family/media room for the main residence.”
Inside, the two bunk beds fold up on traction struts, while the studio desk also folds up to save space. Rolling file cabinets hide the inverter/charger and 4.5 kilowatts of backup batteries. The space is also equipped with a cast iron wood-burning stove and a small fridge that can run off battery power. When all the furniture is folded away, the cabin can also be used as a poker room.
Images by Art Grice