Tsunami House built to handle nature's worst
January 9, 2014
From Hurricane Katrina to the Polar Vortex which has buried large swathes of North America under snow, we're frequently reminded that when extreme weather hits, the results can be devastating. Tsunami House, by Designs Northwest Architects, has been built to withstand the worst nature can throw at it: high winds, storms, and yes, even a tsunami.
Located in a flood-prone section of Camano Island, Washington, the recently completed two-story (plus loft) waterfront home sits atop 1.5 m (5 ft) high pilings designed to take abuse from a high velocity tsunami wave. The ground floor, dubbed the "flood room," is a multi-use space which sports walls designed to break away if a tsunami hits, thus leaving the integrity of the upper areas intact.
The main living area is on the second floor, accessed via tough bent plate steel stairs. It contains bathroom, kitchen and dining area, master bedroom, and a loft bedroom accessible via ladder. The decor is distinctly low-maintenance and industrial, with concrete and glass the order of the day. However, Designs Northwest Architects strove to add some warmth to the main living areas with the use of cedar wood and plenty of windows to assure ample natural light.
Of course, we'll only ever really know for sure if the design of Tsunami House is successful should the worst happen. Hopefully that day never comes.