Tierra Nueva Retreat

Seattle | Washington 

The New Earth Refuge is a family-based hospitality and retreat center tied to the ecumenical ministry among Latino immigrants in the Skagit River Valley of Washington State. It is located on discreet portions of a Conservation Land Trust along the Skagit River.  

The project consists of an existing residence (“family”), a chapel (“spirit”) and a housing/meeting facility (“community”).

These structures exist on the property as individual and unique elements that one happens upon via movement through and experience of the forested site. Each structure will have its own character related to its function and a unique way of relating to the site.

The “community” facility, depicted here, is the first phase of the project and is currently under review by Skagit County for building permits.  It is configured to allow for occupancy by a single family, or a larger group with a meeting space for common gathering.  

This meeting room is meant to relate horizontally to the site with all glass walls connecting one directly to the landscape and views of the river, while the sheltering garden roof creates a place of shelter and comfort within the forest.  

The irregular shape relates to site conditions and specific relationships within the structure as well as allowing an informality that relates well to the natural landscape.  In contrast, the bunkhouse portions express themselves as “camp cabins” - internal, ordered and safe.