Courtyard House on a River
Mark Woods

Courtyard House on a River

Robert Hutchison Architecture as Architects

This small residence located on the banks of the White River five miles from Mt. Rainier quietly blends into the surrounding forest.


An entry courtyard serves as a transition space from outdoors to indoors, and keeps the ubiquitous elk herds at bay.


A steel-clad fireplace mass separates the living room from a covered outdoor patio.


Working diligently with our client who also served as General Contractor for the project, the building footprint was kept as compact as possible to minimize site disturbance. The residence epitomizes the small home living movement through its emphasis on design over size.

Courtyard House on a River

Dovetail General Contractors as Contractors

Connecting indoor and outdoor spaces, the feature fireplace in this small residence in Washington State is made with hot-rolled steel with blackened edges and a clear coat finish. The visible banding is a natural pattern that occurs during the processing and production of steel sheets. The steel sheets here are attached using 6 to 8 screws per panel.


Integrated inside the fireplace’s steel surround is a TV nook as well as wood burning fire place. Outside, the steel surround houses wood for the fire place.


Embracing the idea of the small home living movement through its emphasis on design and quality over size, this subtle residence blends quietly into the forest.


More from the Contractor:


The architect describes the fireplace as an important feature that connects the indoor and outdoor spaces. It’s made of hot-rolled steel with blackened edges and a clear coat finish. The visible banding is a natural pattern that occurs during the processing and production of steel sheets. Inside, the steel surround features an integrated T.V. nook, as well as a wood burning fire place. Outside, the steel surround houses the wood for the interior fireplace. It also features a gas burning fireplace, which extends the use of the porch throughout the year.

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