Studio / Bunkhouse

Architect: Cutler Anderson Architects

Location: Washington

Category: Up to $150,000 in construction costs (category one)

Where once stood a dilapidated tool shed, is now a multi-use building, carefully designed to fit its natural context, functioning as a bunk house and a design studio.

Conceived as a multi-use building, this 80 sq ft studio/bunkhouse was designed to fit carefully into its natural context, located just 30 feet from the main house.

The building was framed by an 11-year-old and her dad with rough-sawn Douglas Fir from a nearby sawmill. The framing lumber and shiplap sheathing were exposed in order to display the nature of the structure. Rigid insulation was applied, then finished with 22-gauge Corten steel “shingles” hand-cut from sheets of the material.

Designed to have a folding desk and beds, the building can function as a bunk house for the 11-year old, a design studio for her dad, and, when everything is folded, a poker room for her dad’s friends.

"Beautifully designed and detailed. The narrative of constructing the building themselves with limited power-tools is compelling." ~ Jury comment

Because of intermittent power outages, 4KW of batteries and an inverter/charger are hidden behind the rolling file cabinets. The family can then use the building during those events. The building is heated by a highly-efficient cast iron wood stove and a small 2.2 cubic foot refrigerator, concealed under the stove.

The building has surprised the designer/builders by becoming the de facto family / media room for the main residence.

Additional information

Architect: James Cutler, FAIA and Beth Wheeler

Builders: James and Hannah Cutler

Lumber provider:  Smythe Lumbermill

Entry door: Simpson Doors "Artist Collection"  

Custom cabinetry and desk: Kory Mathis Woodworking

Interior designer: Beth Wheeler Design


Carolyn Adams, AIA (Chair), Carolyn Adams Architecture PLLC, Kirkland, Washington

Michael Antenora, AIA, Antenora Architects LLP, Austin, Texas  

Steve Kordalski, AIA, Kordalski Architects Inc., Cleveland, Ohio

Brandon Frazier Pace, AIA, Sanders Pace Architecture LLC, Knoxville, Tennessee

Elizabeth Whittaker, AIA, Merge Architects, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts

Image credits


Art Grice


Art Grice


Art Grice


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Art Grice