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Concrete Cabin For Filmmaker Is A Stunning Space Based On A Garage.

Olson Kundig Architects The Brain

The 14,280 cubic-foot ‘Brain’ by Olson Kundig Architects is a contemporary concrete cabin/ studio built adjacent to a larger home in the woods of Seattle, Washington.

Olson Kundig The Brain

Olson Kundig The Brain

The 14,280 cubic-foot cinematic laboratory in the Pacific Northwest was designed for a filmmaker to work out ideas. The garage, a place often cited as the birthplace of invention, provided the conceptual model. Built prior, it is reminiscent to the architect’s fabulous Chicken Point Cabin.

modern cabin

concrete architecture

The form is essentially a cast-in-place concrete box, intended to be a strong yet neutral background that provides complete flexibility to adapt the space at will.

olson kundig cabin

The interior, like that of many of Olson Kundig’s other cabins, combines an industrial feel with that of luxury.

interior decorating inspiration

The steel framed windows open to the lush surroundings and bare bulbs dangle from the ceiling, operated by pulleys.

The double-height single room of the main space is inserted with a loft constructed entirely of 1/2-inch steel plates that are welded and folded in an “origami” fashion in order to produce the rigidity and strength need to become structurally self-sufficient.

A set of metal stairs to the loft is hidden behind a darkroom and storage space is tucked beneath the steel loft, while a fireman’s pole provides an easier and more flamboyant means of egress down.

metal etched stairs

fireman's pole in a house

Hardwood floors and mid-century modern furnishings add a cozy touch to what could have been a very cold interior.

The Principal architect Tom Kundig. Photographed by Brian Smale, in The Brain
The Principal architect Tom Kundig. Photographed by Brian Smale, in The Brain

Inserted into the box along the north wall is a steel mezzanine. All interior structures were made using raw, hot-rolled steel sheets.

A three car garage is located at the base of the building.

The Brain Studio is as much a treehouse, fort, and playroom as it is a serious work space, and ultimately it is a quirky but true reflection of the client and his personality.

Architects: Olson Kundig Architects – Principal Tom Kundig
Project: The Brain
Location: Seattle, Washington
Size: 14,280 cu feet
Tim Bies
Mark Darley
David Wild Photographers
Marco Prozzo