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Lakeside Tent City

Date published: July 07 2018

Washington, USA

Click here to visit Hoedemaker Pfeiffer Website >>

Steve Hoedemaker and Tim Pfeiffer were asked to redesign a waterfront property near Seattle with the aim for it to host roughly 40 family members and friends. They wanted everyone to connect with natu

A project on Whidbey Island in Washington, 30 miles North of Seattle has been lovingly nicknamed ‘tent city’. What’s more, it’s recently proven what can be achieved when designers and architects focus on their strengths, defy convention and take a few risks with a project.

To enable the home’s redesign to encompass a campsite like feel, designers Hoedemaker Pfeiffer went to lengths to make room for a selection of grand indoor spaces for gatherings, with outdoor spaces for taking the sun and views or gathering around the fire of an evening. Bedrooms were out, replaced instead by a collection of wall tents that simultaneously lose nothing in luxury but gain everything in the connection to the great outdoors.

The demolition process could have been more extensive still. Presented with a collection of architectural decisions that spanned many decades and styles, it appeared at first there was nothing worth saving of the house.

However, modesty prevailed, coupled with a desire to make use of existing resources, the team suggested eliminating only the most ordinary parts of the building, leaving the original 1920s beach cabin and the 1970s great room. The remaining bedrooms, a bathroom, a laundry room, mudroom and garage all went, leaving space for the iconic collection of wall tents and various camp areas.

The wall tents provide for year-round sleeping, benefiting from simple electric heaters for colder nights. In four tents, there is room for eight guests, with room for an additional six in the great room.

The furniture throughout was sourced from up and down the West Coast with additional pieces sourced from Asia and the East Coast.

A 1920s cottage was reimagined, becoming a camp style dining hall with its own beach stone fireplace, kitchen and camp style bath. The 1970s great room was completely cleaned up. A sleeping loft was added and the fireplace was rebuilt to create a room that’s part Pacific Coast park lodge with a little bit of Tofino surf chic.

The sense of camp and community is reinforced outside with a great deck facing the water and a fire pit out back out of the wind for cooler nights. The camp bathroom provides for simultaneous use of showers, toilets, and sinks without compromising privacy, and an additional outdoor sink makes tooth brushing by starlight a breeze. Pure camping bliss.

Photographer: Lisa Romerein

Designer: Hoedemaker Pfeiffer

Author: Jake Kennedy

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