Welcome to our gallery featuring the gorgeous Basecamp Project by Johnston Architects PLLC.
Located a couple hours east of Seattle, Washington along the shores of Cle Elum Lake, this gorgeous house was designed to accommodate an active family of seven.
The owners wanted a place where they could easily balance work and play, offering a welcome retreat for the clients of their global consulting firm.
The term “base camp,” and the guiding idea throughout the project, refers to a place to pause at the base of a mountain before ascending to the summit.
With this in mind, the designers strived to achieve a place to “recharge between the milestones of life” while allowing one to reorient with nature from any room of the house. They also wanted to maintain a high level of eco-friendliness with such a large structure.
This was accomplished by incorporating solar thermal, photovoltaics, radiant heat, heat recovery ventilation, super insulation, and passive solar design to minimize energy costs while contrasting the high-tech automated systems used to control temperature and lighting with mobile devices.
The entire house is constructed of durable natural materials. Each functional area of the house, including living, sleeping, and recreational quarters, blurs the line between indoors and outdoors with the use of gabion walls around the exterior, as well as parts of the interior walls.
Gabion walls are a landscaping and building feature, dating back to ancient Egypt, that consists of an enclosure, most commonly made of coated wire, filled with any sort of inorganic materials.
This feature also aids with the environmental friendliness of the house as the filler material can be sourced from the building site.
We hope you enjoy this peaceful, and gorgeous, return to nature as much as we do.
Photography by Benjamin Benschneider
The beautiful front exterior of the retreat. The design was originally planned like a camp with three separate cabins for living, sleeping, and play. While planning the site, it became apparent that it would be more effective to create one structure with three distinct yet connected zones. Here you can better see each zone by the angle of the roof.
This captivating glass entrance allows you to see straight though the house and out to the breathtaking view of the lake beyond. This is an excellent example of blurring the lines between the interior and nature. The walkway allows access to the house without disturbing the dry stream or the plant life around the exterior.
The kitchen is the first room to greet guests. Outfitted to accommodate large gatherings, the concrete topped kitchen island is often used as a dining table. The warm wood of the cabinetry adheres to the rustic retreat theme achieved by the rest of the house. The half wall of the kitchen bar opens up to, and looks out over, the living room area and allows for an unimpeded view of the lake.
The stairs down from the kitchen enter into the large, open living room. Floor to ceiling windows and soaring exposed rafters allow for an uninterrupted view of the surrounding landscape while still maintaining an inviting atmosphere. Stained concrete floors provide durable yet fetching flooring that works wonderfully with the wide open entrances to the room.
Here one can better see the jaw-dropping view of the lake and surrounding mountains. The designers’ goal was to offer as much of this view from every available space.
Large sliding windows open up to the deck and patio beyond creating a great space for entertaining. The goal of including as much access as possible to the surrounding nature is greatly achieved here.
Here is a better view of the patio and fire pit with a lovely view of the back of the house. Understated outdoor lighting keeps the area lit while not detracting from the view or design. The building to the left houses the family room.
The quiet family room allows access to the view through soaring windows. The comfy velour couch brings the green of the surrounding trees indoors and offers up a nice place to read. Large built-in bookshelves give plenty of storage options.
The rec room is a nice hideaway to relax and unwind. The built-in screen for the ceiling-mounted projector is surrounded by fun, colorful wall decor. The large couch offers plenty of room for family and guests to enjoy a movie while the billiards table in the foreground provides a different kind of fun.
The formal dining room can double as a conference room and houses some handsome wine storage and small prep area for entertaining. The exterior door leads out to another small patio. Bright red chairs add fun pops of color while the large white pendant lights hanging over the table soften the room and add a modern touch.
Details such as continuing the use of gabion walls indoors and utilizing sturdy, industrial railings keeps with the rustic, camp feel achieved by the house. This shows off the gorgeous wood paneling and flooring used in the living areas.
From this hallway that leads to the sleeping areas of the house, one can see the front walkway as well as out to the lake along the right side of the house.
One of the relaxing bedrooms in the house with gorgeous views of the lake and mountains. The concrete floors extend into this area too and down the hall you can see two other bedrooms. The house was designed to accommodate sleeping 18+ people, plenty of room to include friends, extended family, or clients.
One of several more contemporary styled bathrooms in the house. The modern trough sink and slate tiles add a classy touch while the storage baskets under the sink maintain rustic charm.
This large bedroom is reminiscent of a camp bunk house while still maintaining the level of comfortable luxury throughout the rest of the house. The ping pong table offers some additional recreational fun.
The large mud room offers plenty of storage for an active lifestyle or a large family without having to find clever places to store seasonal gear. Durable concrete floors make for quick clean up.
Outside the sleeping area is a large beautiful sun deck and refreshing infinity pool. This makes for a perfect place to relax or play while enjoying the surrounding nature. The sun deck matches the red stained wood of the rest of the house and continues the color scheme.
Here is an excellent view of the gabion walls surrounding the outside of the house as well as the simple but striking outdoor shower by the pool.
The edge of the shaded infinity pool looks out over the lake and lines up with one of the surrounding peaks.
In a successful attempt to maintain an eco-friendly house passive solar-panels and solar hot water heaters were employed to keep energy costs down and better utilize the energy offered by nature.
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Angular Hadaway House Overlooking A Wild Valley by Patkau Architects | Eco-Friendly Hawthorn Residence Project by Chan Architecture | Rustic, Yet Minimalist Airy Home Full of Worldly Treasures by Homepolish | Extraordinary Tree House project by MF Architecture