Well, what do you know? It looks like it’s that time again — time to feature yet another gorgeous and green home located in my native stomping ground, Washington State. They just keep on a-comin ...

Last month's Washington State standouts were the Perilstein and Dorsey Residences, two very different and very green homes designed by Coates Design Architects on beautiful Bainbridge Island. 

Today, I’m moving away from the Seattle metro area to one of Mother Nature’s finest works, the San Juan Islands, for a look at a luxurious but compact eco-hideaway that truly disappears into its craggy, far-flung surroundings thanks to ingenious design and engineering work on the part of Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects.

After a quick glance at the photos of this 2,200-square foot home’s exterior, you’ll understand why it's called The Pierre or “stone” in French: It’s actually built into a rock outcropping. Erecting this Flintstonian bunker was no easy task. Architect Tom Kundig equates the excavation process to “pulling the thread out of a sweater” in a New York Times T magazine profile last month.

Reads the project description on the Olson Kundig website:

To set the house deep into the site, portions of the rock outcropping were excavated using a combination of machine work and handwork. The contractor used large drills to set the outline of the building, then used dynamite, hydraulic chippers, a selection of wire saws and other hand tools, working with finer and finer implements as construction progressed. Excavated rock was re-used as crushed aggregate in the concrete flooring. Excavation marks were left exposed on all the stonework, a reminder of the building process.
In addition being nestled in between boulders, a sod roof and carefully planned landscaping help to further camouflage the home and allow it to melt into its natural surroundings.
Read more about and see additional photos of the Pierre over at the T and at the Olson Kundig website. I’m pretty much in love. What do you think?

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

People who live in stone houses ...
The Pierre is a San Juan Islands retreat that, thanks to the miracles of modern design and skillful contracting work, is built into a rock outcropping.