Dry Creek Outbuildings: Transformation of Pre-Existing Buildings into A Cottage and An Office

Dry Creek Outbuildings 3

Started in 2005 and completed in 2007 by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Dry Creek Outbuildings is a transformation project of pre-existing buildings that were structurally compromised and in serious disrepair into simply organized structures as an office and a cottage. Located in Northern California, this project introduces a clear relationship between the buildings and the site.


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Dry Creek Outbuildings 2

Dry Creek Outbuildings 3

The structures are located between the private world of the forested creek and the public world of the entry drive, sitting at the edge of a creek. The more private glazed living areas offer awesome views of the stream whole the solid, weathered cedar-clad boxes containing service spaces face the entry drive area.



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Placed in simple facades, the delicate ribbon windows provide awesome views, maintain privacy, and also introduce light. Inside the building, the weathers’ cedar skin is used as a wrapper then peels away to reveal the Douglas fir structure and siding.

Extending outwards, the vertical grain Douglas fir rafters project from the cedar boxes draw one’s eye towards moss-covered rocks of the active creek and the tangled oaks. Besides providing warmth to the glass boxes, the Douglas fir structure and siding also generate a gentle glow in the evening.



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The living spaces are protected from the direct afternoon sun by the wood-clad service elements, minimizing thermal load as well. Well-placed operable doors and windows can complement the natural shading strategies and also encourage cross ventilation.

These doors and windows take advantage of evaporative cooling from the prevailing breezes along the creek surface. These two structures are also warmed by high-efficiency in-slab radiant heating systems when winter comes.


Dry Creek Outbuildings Gallery


Photographer: Nic Lehoux

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Karin Hoover

Karin Hoover

Total posts created: 3043
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

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