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Built Bill Gates’ home, then his own dream bunk-studio

He designed Bill Gates’ 66,000-square foot home and a 139-million-dollar Portland federal building, but James Cutler was just as inspired building an 8-by-10 shed/studio with his daughter in their backyard.

“Everything in this world has a nature – institutions, people, places… There are things that land will accept and other things it will not accept and stay whole. The bottom line of that is I felt that our job once we decided to work with the nature of things was those things take on a will. And our job is to reveal that will, that spirit, and amplify it if we can.”

Using the same footprint as the old tool shed they razed to make way for the cabin, Cutler and his 12-year-old daughter spent eight months pouring a concrete foundation and building the structure from rough-sawn Douglas fir.

The dwelling is both kids’ hangout/sleepover space and Cutler’s design studio where he spends 12 hours per day designing award-winning buildings around the world. For Cutler design isn’t about size or cost, but about listening to the spirit of a space or place.