It is a very romantic notion imagining Orcas Island in Washington’s San Juan Islands being named after the great killer whale Orca. But unlike creatures of the natural world, humans have an ego thing going on and like to name things after themselves. In the case of Orcas Island, and even though the resident whales do frolic there from April through October, disappointingly the island was actually named after Spanish explorer Juan Vicente de Güemes Padilla Horcasitas y Aguayo, 2nd Count of Revillagigedo, or . . . Orcas for short.
Orcas Island sits in the middle of the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound in the Northwest corner of Washington State. It is about a 3-hour drive and ferry trip to Seattle, Vancouver, BC. and Victoria B.C. Rural and remote with not the first stop light, locals get to know their neighbors and visit at the farmers’ market or attending events such as the Chamber Music Festival. More than a third of the island is devoted to parks and more held in conservation land. Captivating views over islands and beyond are never taken for granted by the residents. The population is made up of a variety of people including artists, writers, musicians, retirees, telecommuters and farmers. The surrounding water provides a plethora of oysters, crab and salmon, and any produce that you don’t grow in your own small garden can be obtained from the local farmers. Island living offers boating, hiking, horseback riding, whale watching, kayaking and all manner of outdoor activity.
Designed by Jeb Thornburg and Michael Wangen of Indigo Architecture & Interiors, this cliff-perched home overlooking the islands and to the horizon, takes full advantage of the stunning natural surroundings. Built in 2012 and on the cover of Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Magazine that same year, this two bedroom, three bathroom modern home occupies the perfect viewing spot on its 10.63 acres. Constructed so the foundation legs support a Vierendeel frame, it allows the wings of the house to cantilever 28 feet in both directions, leaving the landscape pristine and untouched. The spectacular, ever changing view of islands and ocean are framed with folding glass walls creating a vanishing threshold between indoors and out. The open floorplan that continues onto the cantilevered terrace makes the home perfect for entertaining or peacefully taking in the sunset. For more information.
Orcas Island 2012 home featured on the cover of Pacific Northwest Magazine is now for sale, offered at $2.495 million.