Designing to capture rainwater on a dry island

New House

San Juan Islands, WA

Thomas Fragnoli

Sozinho Imagery

One aspect of the San Juan Islands that helps keep growth in check is the difficulty in obtaining potable water.  Since this four acre parcel only had access to a brackish well on an adjacent lot, we chose to collect all the rainwater from its broad shed roof into an 18,000 gallon cistern for use in the house.  Its simple, open plan was inspired by the Cape Cod vacation houses built by Bauhaus architects in the 1950’s, and opens to broad deck over a newly reclaimed lawn on the downslope side.  Interior loft spaces provide retreats for the owner to find tranquil moments for daily meditation practice.  This was our fourth project for this client.


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