This outdoor shower looks simple, but closer inspection reveals a depth of detail and precision that elevates it to award-winner: An innovative structure with a daily function. Architect Mark Hutker calls it the “celery stalk,” an analogy that highlights several inventive features. Untreated cedar slats lean in, so like a celery stalk, the diameter is smaller at the top. This gives a user ample room at the base while a narrow oculus at the apex frames unobstructed sky. “You want to look up at that view,” said the jury.

Project Credits

Entrant/Architect Hutker Architects, Vineyard Haven, Mass.
Lars V. Olsen Fine Homebuilding, Marion, Mass.
Photographer Brian Vanden Brink

The shower creates an elegant form when seen from other parts of the house and grounds, too. Narrow boards set between the wide slats enhance the celery comparison and allow privacy while providing sufficient ventilation. Those skinny pieces are cut off just above the porch overhang, encouraging both breezes and playful shadows. A steel frame holds it all together and prevents warping.

Inside, circular cedar ribs connect wood to steel and serve as shelves for toiletries. Even the doorway is a cool detail: A segment of curved wall hangs from a stainless steel bar. The door is suspended off the deck and has hidden rollers inside the track to push it away from the wall so it slides with ease. Hutker and project architect Jim Cappuccino visited the site numerous times during construction to ensure the opening exactly frames a sliver of sea and shore that can be seen only when standing at a particular angle toward the cove. “We always strive for connecting people with a specific piece of the property,” Hutker says, “and this shower does that really well.”