This clever, detached workroom dubbed Maxon Studio is a complement to an existing cabin in a forest outside of Seattle, Washington. Built on fifteen-foot-gauge railroad track, the addition can move on the tracks, separating from the main cabin, allowing the studio to have its own privacy and solitude.
Designed by famed architecture firm Olsen Kundig, the rustic exterior is clad in steel so that it will weather to blend into the natural surroundings. In designing an addition that can slide on custom-made tracks, the idea was to allow for a seamless transition between dwellings, but also allowing for a sense of creative exploration and peaceful retreat when the studio is separated.
Floor-to-ceiling glass and a steel ladder allow for beautiful and all-encompassing views of the trees and valley below, while the aesthetic of the interior bring in a sense of vintage craftsmanship.
Ingenuity in the design and function of the studio were needed, in allowing for seamless use of electricity, even when the entire structure is slid along the tracks.
‘Seeing the studio for the first time after construction, I was blown away. It’s a beautiful object, beautifully fabricated, but moving it along the track is another experience entirely,’ Tom Kundig continues, describing the work of the client and general contractor Lou Maxon along with the team at Alpine Welding.
‘What Lou and Alpine were able to achieve with reconfiguring the electronics of the control panel and elegantly allowing the electrical connection to unspool behind the studio is absolute brilliance. It’s a prime example of taking an idea 60% or 70% of the way, and then stepping aside to let an expert bring it fully to life.‘
Photos: © Aaron Leitz