Azur Retreat (in collaboration with Eric Meglasson Architect)
location: bend, oregon year: 2018 size: 200sf

Set in a secluded corner of a wooded 10-acre parcel outside of Bend, Oregon, this single-room reading retreat was commissioned by a set of clients from the bay area as an adjunct to their larger custom home on the same site. The presence of the nearby home allows the tiny studio to be stripped of mundane domestic trappings, and instead is able to function wholly as a destination for refuge, surrounded by and embedded in nature.

The pre-fabricated steel and glass structure hovers lightly above the native landscaping, which is undisturbed save for the presence of several small concrete footings. Cloaked in a veil of thin cedar battens, the reading retreat benefits from changing light conditions throughout the day, and plays host to the oft-extreme seasonal weather fluctuations found in Central Oregon. The cedar battens are closely spaced toward the rear of the studio, and slowly increase their relative spacing toward the front entry. As a result, a variety of interior spatial conditions exist - supporting equally varied uses inside.

Driven by a desire for zero-maintenance and minimal environmental impact, the Azur retreat employs a straightforward, hard-wearing exterior material palette of untreated natural cedar and weathering steel alongside the extensive floor-to-ceiling glass window system. The cedar battens double as a shade screen, working in conjunction with cross-ventilation strategies to keep the studio comfortable in summer months. A roof-mounted photovoltaic array, paired with a Tesla Powerwall, supplies a small electric heater and LED light fixtures, enabling three-season and nighttime use - at which time the retreat glows like a lantern from within.

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