2023 RDAA | Custom Accessory or Outbuilding | Boathouse | PBW Architects

When you can arrive at your home by boat or seaplane, the boathouse becomes the major threshold to the property, ushering you from sea to shore to shelter. PBW’s Boathouse in coastal Washington replaces a rotting wooden structure and attempts to restore its deteriorating shoreline connection as well—all while creating more “outside than inside” for the clients to enjoy. 

The highly flexible building can open up for a summertime crab feast or hunker down for a soothing cup of tea by the fire on a blustery winter’s day. In a pinch, it makes a fine guest house for a short stay. Yet for all that utility, it “sits so lightly on the landscape,” said our judges. “It seems so weightless. It’s kind of like a dock or a pier that got made into a building.”

And that was the core concept, says Dan Wickline. “Our goal was to make the structure as light as possible. In fact, the entire volume is smaller than what was there before. We had quite a few meetings to go over that—how much space do we want outside our inside? There was never a need to maximize the interior volume. The intent was to stay modest and build only what was really needed.”


Custom Accessory or Outbuilding

PBW Architects


Coastal Washington

Project Credits

Architect: Dan Wickline, principal architect; Philip Burkhardt, project architect; Kelby Riegsecker, architect, PBW Architects, Seattle, Washington

Builder: Dalgarno Construction, Eastsound, Washington

Interior Designer: LeeAnn Baker, LeeAnn Baker Interiors, Seattle

Landscape Architect: Green Man Landscape & Design, Friday Harbor, Washington

Project Size: 634 square feet

Site Size: 5 acres

construction cost: Withheld

Photography: Andrew Pogue Photography; Taj Howe Photography

Key Products

Cladding: Stained tight knot cedar

Cabinet Hardware: Sugatsune

Countertops: Caesarstone, concrete

Dishwasher: Bosch

Doors/Windows/Window Walls: Dynamic Fenestration

Engineered Lumber: Weyerhaeuser

Faucets: Grohe; Hansgrohe

Fireplace: Element4

Flooring: Carlisle

Insulation/Housewrap: Henry Blueskin

Lighting: Rich Brilliant Willing; Juniper Design

Millwork/Moulding/Trim: Thermory USA

Refrigerator: Sub-Zero

Roofing: Taylor Metal Products

Sinks: Duravit; Elkay

Toilet: TOTO