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3 March 2022

Kitchen of the Week: An Indoor/Outdoor Cook Space for a Pair of Naturalists in Washington


Of all of the eco-minded spaces we’ve featured over the years, the project that embodies the phrase most literally is this one, in Washington state.

The project (which Fan originally profiled in The Nesting Instinct: A Cabin Retreat in Washington Inspired by a Bird) is the home of a pair of environmentalists, one of them a wildlife photographer and avid birder, who asked Wittman Estes Architecture + Landscape to transform their 1960s cabin on the Hood Canal into a retreat more in conversation with nature. Working from the most micro of perspectives, architect Matt Wittman began to pay careful attention to the way nature’s tiniest architects—specifically, the nesting killdeer, a small bird common in the area—builds its own home in the landscape. “Unlike most birds, the killdeer doesn’t bring outside vegetation to build its nest,” he told Fan. “It pulls away the existing brush, burrowing into the existing forest, and nesting on the ground.”

Inspired, the team created a trio of cabins—the main cabin, an addition, and an added bunkhouse and bath—that are very much nested into the land. Today we’re taking a closer look at the kitchen and dining area in the main cabin, in intimate conversation with the ecosystem.

Photography by Andrew Pogue, courtesy of Wittman Estes Architecture + Landscape.

in the main cabin, floor to ceiling windows and sliding doors lend a feeling of 9
Above: In the main cabin, floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors lend a feeling of immersion in nature. Step outside on the cedar deck and you’re in the outdoor kitchen, complete with concrete counters and a built-in barbecue.
the kitchen is clad entirely in plywood, with custom cabinets. at right, above  10
Above: The kitchen is clad entirely in plywood, with custom cabinets. At right, above the concrete counter, is a pass-through window that connects the kitchen with the outdoor cook space for seamless food prep.
the generous deck allows for indoor/outdoor living. 11
Above: The generous deck allows for indoor/outdoor living.

More eco-conscious kitchens we love:


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