Eliza Island is one of the closest islands to Bellingham. The island is run by a homeowner’s association which provides water from a desalinization plant, but no electricity or motorized transport is available other than a community pick-up truck.

The clients owned the property for years using it primarily as a camping site with a small shed for a kitchen and storage. As they were about to retire, they wanted a small cabin that would provide more comfort, permanent cooking and cleaning facilities but would still retain the rustic camping feel.

Rather than a single cabin [bundle] designed a small camping compound that extended the living spaces beyond the building to activate the spaces between. The plan was organized with private spaces for sleeping and showering at the far ends with the kitchen, dining and communal fire pit at the very center. A small path through the trees enters the site into this communal area encouraging friends and guests to grab a beer, some food and have a seat at the fire.

The buildings were designed to be very simple and maintenance free. All framing and structural connections are exposed, and the cedar siding is completely unfinished to allow the buildings to develop their own patina and disappear into the wooded landscape.