The developable portion of this unique west-facing waterfront property in the San Juan Islands fell within coastal geologic, aquatic wildlife, and class II wetland buffers - and is situated 50’ from an active bald eagle nest. These constraints meant that all new construction was confined to a 900sf rectangle defined by the footprint of an existing primitive cabin. The program called for a three-bedroom retreat house of modest scale and budget for a family of four, including two young children. We were able accommodate the program within the limited footprint by utilizing a generous allowable building height, creating a 2 story + loft structure with private spaces upstairs and public spaces at grade. The expression is suggestive of a modest island structure of indeterminant age – with a simple gable roof and divided-lite windows. This vernacular is upended by a nearly complete lack of enclosure at the ground level, as if most walls went missing, leaving just enough to support the house above. This architectural intervention maximizes connection to landscape and view and minimizes the distinction between inside and out.