Country Cottage
Location: St. Maries River near Santa, Idaho
Architect/owner: Rafi Samizay, AIA
Structural Engineer: Dave Thomas, PE, KPFF Consulting Engineers, Seattle, WA
Steel and panel components: HabiTek, LLC
Scope: 1210 SF, 2 bedroom, 2 bath (6 levels)

Designed by Rafi Samizay AIA, Professor of Architecture at WSU, this masterfully executed summer home steps up the basalt river bank on 12 concrete piers.

The County Cottage was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the flexibility of steel, and the ability of the HabiTek system to receive “off-module” steel components, such as the projecting bay windows. Three main levels are arranged to create a spectacular interior, along with three platforms that hang off the main steel structure.

Wood panels are installed as the steel frame is erected to provide shear resistance. The panels, made of 2x4 studs sheathed with OSB, were installed using an Aerosmith pneumatic pin-fastening system. The steel pins pass through lumber and steel at extremely high speed, effectively welding the pins to the steel post and beams to secure the panels.

A crew member helps guide a structural insulated panel (SIP) into place. The roof SIPs were custom manufactured with integral tongue and groove pine decking, which created a finished ceiling upon being positioned in place. HabiTek supplied specially formed steel rafters designed to receive the SIPs.

Rafi took full advantage of steel’s visual appeal and strength by installing several bookshelves and related display and storage niches along the exposed steel structure. Interior construction and fit and finish was undertaken by Rafi after HabiTek assembled the steel structure and installed the panels.

A portion of one of the living platforms is shown attached to a steel post. HabiTek devised several types of brackets and outriggers to support the interior platform structures and the steel stringers, which were also supplied by HabiTek.

Another interior view showing Rafi’s artful integration of HabiTek’s steel components and painted gypsum board planes. HabiTek plans to attract other architects and designers to utilize the system.