The judges pronounced this floating cottage “compact and beautifully crafted, built like a boat on the inside and like a fisherman's cottage outside.” Its concrete platform was the testing ground for the client's recently completed main houseboat, which also sits atop a concrete float rather than on traditional logs. “The owners want to retire here and were adamant about not having to deal with replacing rotted logs,” says Studio Hamlet Architects principal Russell Hamlet.
That peace of mind was achieved inside, too, where clever design and well-chosen materials make the guest cabin feel larger than its 433 square feet. It's open, yet subdivided: A sunlit sleeping loft provides a getaway, and its ship's ladder subtly screens the living and dining areas while allowing the eye to look through it. Lest the owners forget they're on the water, a corrugated metal ceiling echoes the ripples outside.
Entrant/Architect:Studio Hamlet Architects, Bainbridge Island, Wash.
Builder:Even Construction, Tigard, Ore.
Living space: 433 square feet
Site: 0.01 acre
Construction cost: $320 per square foot
Photographer: Art Grice