Don't Screw It Up / by Michelle Linden

My office does a fair amount of work in the mountains of western Washington, but I've never worked in a locale as amazing as this... Any architect would love the opportunity to design for such a stunning site, but I think to do so would be incredibly difficult. Imagine trying to create a stunning piece of architecture worthy of such a beautiful and almost surreal backdrop, while still being careful not to compete with the landscape... Certainly, in this case no building would win that battle.

I quite like this image of a mountaintop holiday home by andreas fuhrimann, gabrielle hächler architects. At first glance, it appears to be a small getaway, using the deck as an extension of the interior space, which would have made me very happy. However, this photo disguises a much larger home...

While I can appreciate the simple form reflective of the distant mountains, and the stark facade that seems to be awaiting a massive drift of snow, I'm a bit disappointed by the enormity of the home (and the somewhat awkward arrangement of the windows). Clearly, my fantasy of a tiny mountain retreat does not coincide with the average vacation home owner. Having said that, I do enjoy this project, which I think is a mostly successful foray into an architecture for an expansive and surreal environment.