“They were adamant, right from the start,” says Albert, “that
this was not going to be palatial or looming, that it would be modest in its imagery.”
The unassuming impression begins at the end of the half-mile gravel road (built before construction could start) that leads
to the house. Here visitors are presented with the narrow end
of the house, slightly dressed up with a bracketed window. Two
stone pillars frame a pathway that leads to the first of two shingled
pavilions, where a right turn brings a visitor to the entrance to
formerly impenetrable pine forest, the site (facing page) has
been opened up to let in the sun. Now, low-bush blueberries thrive.
Along the front of the building (above) runs “the cloister,” the
wood-lined hallway that connects all the rooms of the first floor.
the house or, continuing straight ahead, to steppingstones and a
second pavilion, this one with a porch, a fireplace, and the view
Albert and his clients dreamed about.
Guests with manners, however, first use the front door and
enter into a long hall, dubbed “the cloister,” which runs the
length of the house. Following the slope of the lot, the hall descends in a series of graceful steps, starting at the library, passing
the dining room, and ending at the living room. The ceiling level
of each room is constant, while the floors drop away with the
land. “Each successive room’s height reflects its increasing importance,” Albert says.
The dining and living rooms are compositions of pure
Douglas fir — floors, walls, and ceilings — their decoration com-