Huddled in the shadows of the Cascade Mountains of Washington State, a compact cabin opens up its walls to the surrounding forest. Tom Kundig designed the steel-clad cabin to fade into the surrounding forest. Although it appears to sit on the ground, the cabin is actually perched atop a 16-foot foundation that raises the living quarters so they are level with an outcropping in back; a terrace atop the mound more than doubles the available living space (the homeowner, a contractor, devised his own table and benches). The chimney's height was dictated by thermodynamics rather than aesthetics: The fireplace is so large that the stack had to be tall to guarantee a draw.
"Everything had to be tightly organized, like a ship," says interior designer Maryika Byskiniewicz, whose custom sectional sofa features lidded drawers that double as tables; mohair cushions can accommodate overnight guests.A river bay skirts the land below the cabin.