A few years prior to this project, the homeowner bought this beautiful piece of shoreline property with a rundown cabin with the intention of fixing it up or replacing it sometime in the future.  After some investigation into the state of the home– and in particular the home’s foundation– they realized that replacing the old cabin was the only realistic option.  

 The homeowner engaged Greg Robinson of GRArchitecture as the project architect and Bellingham Bay Builders as the general contractor. As an integrated design team, they all worked together to design this wonderful getaway cabin on the shoreline. 

 The key project goals were to build a compact, beautiful, high-performance cabin without creating any new additional impacts to the site and local ecosystem.  The cabin was designed to be a snug, comfortable place to get away to, as well as a place to invite friends and inspire offline connections and creativity.  Like any new high-performance home, the cabin would also be low-maintenance, durable, have great indoor air quality, provide thermal comfort, and be energy-efficient. 

 To minimize site impacts, the new cabin was built in the same footprint as the old derelict cabin after it was removed while maintaining the existing cabin’s septic system.  From there, a modern high-performance cabin was built with behind-the-scenes details such as a carefully detailed building envelope, high R-value insulation, modern high functioning windows, a mini-split heat pump for heating and cooling, and a heat recovery ventilator. 

With a long-lasting, high-performance building shell and mechanical systems designed, it was time to plan an interior that inspired and comforted the owners.  Besides cozy window seats and floor-to-ceiling library cabinets, the home’s recycled Douglas fir ceiling beams provide a solid place to hang the owner’s aerial silk.  With its low-maintenance design, visits provide more time for reading, connecting, exploring, cooking, aerial silks, and even oyster farming. 

Contractor: Bellingham Bay Builders 

Architect: Greg Robinson 

Photography: Radley Muller Photography 

 Editor’s note: The tiles for the fireplace were created by Amy Popelka of Tac Tile Company and installed by Rob Rocks Tile and Stone. For more information about the project, check out our November/December 2021 issue or visit BellinghamAlive.com