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Fort Ward Bunker House

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Site

A hilltop occupied by a decommissioned military bunker – the fire control station for Gunnery Nash at Fort Ward at the south end of Bainbridge Island. The purchase price of the property was set based on the assumption that substantial costs would be incurred removing the circa 1904 bunker to allow for construction of a new residence.

Program

A new single family residence with lots of storage.

Solution

Rather than battle the bunker, an alliance was made. A concrete garage is aligned with the bunker, and together they serve as the base of the house. The primary living spaces are placed on a steel frame above. Within the house, storage zones flank the living spaces. The kitchen, stair, and service areas form a core within the open plan. An open stair connects to the bedroom floor above. A slot along the floor of the upper landing links the two floors spatially while offering the kids a lookout over the kitchen and living room. The restored bunker – no longer in service of coastal defense – is now the world’s coolest play fort.

Awards & Publications

  • “Our Clients…” Arcade, Spring 2005
  • “Lookout Below” by Kathryn Renner, Seattle Homes & Lifestyles, April 2009
  • “Fort Ward Bunker House”, Coast Defense Study Group Newsletter, May 2009
  • “21st Century Houses: 150 of the World’s Best” by Robyn Beaver (Australia), 2010
  • “West Coast Modern: Architecture, Interiors & Design” by Zahid Sardar & Matthew Millman, 2012
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