Aldo Beach House by Wittman Estes
Located in Washington State, Aldo Beach House is an inspiring beach house has been recently redesigned by Wittman Estes.
About Aldo Beach House
Transforming Aldo Beach House: A Multi-Generational Home
Aldo Beach House transforms a 1940s beach house into a new multi-generational home, doubling the livable area to accommodate a growing family while gently preserving the delicate ecology of the waterfront. Two shifting wings hover over the hillside and beach, supported by thin steel columns and pin piles. Situated on the eastern shore of Hood Canal near the Bangor submarine base, the revamped beach house incorporates the original two-bedroom structure, adding two new bedrooms, two bathrooms, and flex space. The design comprises three distinct parts: the original footprint, a south ground floor addition, and an upper-level master suite to the north.
Addressing the Challenges of Building on a Fragile Shoreline
The house exemplifies the regional challenge of building on a fragile northwest shoreline. “Due to the complex constraints of the shoreline exemption, we adhered to the existing footprint, expanding the house only from the existing structure,” explains Matt Wittman, Principal at Wittman Estes. “As a result, all new square footage relies on compact pier foundations on pin piles.”
The architects introduced native plantings and drought-tolerant species to minimize site disturbance and enhance the ecological function of the site. They extended site preservation efforts beyond the footprint and into the building materials. Local cedar, emblematic of a northwest house, ages gracefully with the wet and dry seasons. Stainless steel and concrete accents complement the wood materials, lending a maritime touch. By employing naturally weathering materials, the architects extended the building’s life and simplified maintenance for the occupants.
Creating Spaces for Family, Friends, and Community
The clients, both grandparents and retirees, desired a retreat and welcoming space. “Like many northwest families, this meant designing various indoor and outdoor spaces for their children, future grandchildren, neighbors, and friends,” Wittman notes. The new wings of the house foster a balance of community and privacy, featuring guest bedrooms for friends, a bunk room and play area for kids, and an outdoor kitchen and deck for communal meals with neighbors. Two additions extend from the original structure, shaping shared spaces alongside rooms for reflection and privacy. Two decks seamlessly expand the use of the adjacent spaces, inviting late-night conversations next to an outdoor kitchen.
The original structure harmoniously intertwines with the new design. Reclaimed pine flooring brings the Olympic forest into the interior, while the existing brick chimneys blend with the updated palette, symbolizing timelessness and strength. The adaptive reuse of Aldo Beach House skillfully integrates the familiar with the modern, uniting the old and new on the shoreline of Hood Canal.
Photography by Andrew Pogue