360 House is a private beachfront retreat designed by Boora Architects, perched above Arcadia Beach at the edge of the tree line on the dramatic Oregon Coast. The design directive was simple: the site is ruled by the sea, the landscape and the climate, and the homeowners wanted to keep it that way. So the designers pared away the external architecture, leaving a thick slab of grassy coast floating above glass walls.
From the architect: The design maintains sightlines from the sheltered forest to the open coastline with a minimal structure of glass and steel. Atop the two-story, transparent box, the copper-clad green roof is an elevated slab of native ferns and grasses.
Only the upper floor is visible from the forested driveway. Accessible via a catwalk and oversized glass pivot door, the upper level contains the main living spaces – living room, kitchen, dining room – and offers views in every direction. Cabinetry is pulled to the center of the space to free the exterior walls from obstruction. A small gap between the basalt flooring and the curtain wall creates an “infinity” effect along the perimeter.
A sheltered deck is punched into the west facade, protected from the wind and connected to the living spaces by wide sliding doors.
From the beach, the full height of the house is exposed, although it’s placement on the bluff and the sloped site to the east adds a sense of intimacy to the lower level. A custom desk cantilevers from the steel columns on the protected eastern side of the downstairs. The family room and two bedrooms open directly to the patio and beach access.
A sophisticated “home brain” allows the owners to remotely control all aspects of the house via their ipad or touchscreens on each floor: lights, shades, thermostats and audio systems. Mechanized curtains can be lowered in individual sections throughout the house as needed to allow for privacy or to control light levels. Hot water, radiant floor heat and air-conditioning is provided from a ground source heat pump.
Finishes and furnishings were chosen for their textural quality and subtlety. Floors and kitchen counters are made from the same dark grey basalt. Walls, ceiling and built-in cabinetry were crafted from white oak with accents of hot-rolled blackened steel.
To maintain flow and consistency, beds, desk and cabinetry were custom made.
On the main level, the kitchen, storage and bathroom are pulled to the core, freeing exterior walls from obstruction. As a result, 360º unimpeded views to the ocean, the beach, the sky and the forest saturate all living spaces. A spacious, sheltered deck is punched in the west elevation; sliding doors open wide to create continuous flow between living and dining areas.
A single piece steel frame supports the floating white oak staircase.
Regardless of the unpredictable Oregon Coast weather, the house is filled with natural light. At night, the light levels are kept low to create a cocoon-like, intimate effect.
Photos: Tim Bies
Skidmore Passivhaus merges contemporary design with the highest level of energy efficiency, designed by In Situ Architecture, located in an existing neighborhood or post-war houses in Portland, Oregon.
From the architect: Comprised of 1,956 square feet of gross living space, the residence provides a true live / work condition. Two separate buildings address the program requirements while creating a unique indoor / outdoor space between.
High levels of insulation, extremely airtight construction (tested at .32ach50), high performing triple glazed european windows, and a super-efficient heat recovery ventilator allow the structure to meet the stringent requirements of the German Passivhaus standard.
Generous amounts of south facing glazing (.5 shgc) maximize the solar gains for most of the year, while motorized exterior aluminum shades can be lowered to block unwanted summer heat gain resulting in extremely comfortable temperatures year round.
An extensive green roof helps manage all stormwater on site, while a roof mounted 4.32 kW PV array provides enough electricity to result in a near net zero and truly sustainable building.
Photos: Courtesy of In Situ Architecture
The Aurea is an open and airy contemporary lake house was designed around light and space by Alan Mascord Design Associates, located in Portland, Oregon. Linear and angled, this modern-style home hugs the landscape. A low-slung roofline, a sprawling layout, and natural stone and wood materials unite the house to the surroundings. Juxtaposing the natural elements, a metal roof, banks of windows, and angular lines add a twist of artistic style. Angular lines begin at the front porch pergola, which appears to announce the entry.
The foyer leads into the two wings of the home and the upper level, which provide every comfort one desires. To one side are the shared formal areas of the dining room and living room. A beam ceiling, fireplace, and built-ins enhance the space for entertaining. The luxurious master suite and a private library also are in this wing. Walls of windows provide rear views in each space and fireplaces on a shared wall will help relieve the chill of winter air.
The upper level is devoted to three bedrooms, a home theater, and a catch-all activities area, with built-ins for storage and media equipment.
The opposite wing houses casual livings spaces, including an open kitchen, breakfast nook, and family room. Angled banks of glass in the nook repeat the angled lines of the island while ensuring sun-filled relaxation spaces. Patio doors in the nook lead to the back porch and to a covered outdoor living space. Hobbies and crafts have a special room of their own nearby.
The well-appointed bathroom connects to an equally large dressing room. A private gym and sauna are a boon to any workout.
The shelves are framed as part of the tub deck, and finished in the same gorgeous tile as the the tub deck and floor. Besides providing the ideal space for towels, they create a wonderful break between the tub and walk-in shower.
Photos: Bob Greenspan
Homeowner Kursteen Salter Price spent twelve years of ripping out flooring, tearing down walls and converting three separate units of a former Portland, Oregon factory into a single family home. She delved into every aspect of the renovation process, from welding window dressings to handcrafting wallpaper. Price transformed this 2,400 square foot, three bedroom, two bathroom loft into one spacious, cohesive home with a Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi. Wabi-sabi interiors can be described as muted, dimly lit and shadowy, giving the rooms an enveloping, womb-like feeling with natural materials that are vulnerable to weathering, warping, shrinking, cracking and peeling. Uncluttered yet not overtly austere, wabi-sabi rooms are, above all, hospitable and comfortable.
As a former factory, there were no load bearing walls to worry about in the renovation process. She exposed concrete and brick walls, a concrete floor and wooden ceiling beams. She would spend days scrubbing paint off the floor, then sealing it with polyurethane. Unhappy with the finished product, the polyurethane was taken off and replaced with a wax finish. This is how she progressed, one DIY project at a time.
Price discovered most of her furnishings and materials at neighborhood vintage and salvaged-goods stores. “The more dents, the better,” she says. “It gives them character.”
The loft is a top-floor corner unit and enjoys sunlight on two of the four sides. When Price split the open space into bedrooms, bathrooms, study spaces and a kitchen, she prioritized natural light. “I wanted the inner spaces to have as much light as possible but also keep privacy,” she says. She achieved this through porous barriers such as EcoResin walls. The panels are made in Canada and have natural materials like grasses and twigs embedded in the resin.
The kitchen’s red walls showcase Price’s practice with Venetian plaster. “The first time it looked great, but within a few days it started falling off the wall,” she says. “Then I paid more attention to ratios.”
The dining area features a handmade table created by a friend who did much of the home’s woodwork. For the ironwork Price took on the task herself, including making an early version of the handrail leading to the deck. “I kept failing a sculptural welding class,” she says. “It was a great way to use the equipment.”
Burlap feed bags work as wallpaper in this sitting area. Price salvaged them from a nearby dairy farm that was planning to burn the bags. To secure the bags to the wall, she used simple wallpaper paste.
At night Moroccan lamps project soft light onto the ceiling. Price made the custom cabinets under the windows from wood salvaged from a local high school. The gym floor at the school flooded, and they scrapped the wood. Price repurposed it, painted it with milk paint and used it for her fireplace mantel and storage.
For one sitting area, Price enclosed the space with windows and salvaged wood from an old barn.
Since the space was initially three separate units, there were two spare kitchens in the loft after Price tore out the walls. She converted them to study spaces and now, instead of extraneous cooktops, reading nooks dot the home. Price’s family didn’t install a television, but they have an iPad, and “maybe that’s worse,” she confides.
In the most industrial bedroom of the house, steel diamond plates are set as flooring and run up one wall. The whole concept for the bed began with some vintage wheels that Price found. She wanted to design an elevated bed with them, so when a friend told her about an abandoned mill selling old, wide-plank sugar pine, an idea struck. She bought some of the wood and designed a bed to incorporate the distinct wheels and wood, and her friend did the woodworking and welding to complete the design.
The central bathroom features a traditional Japanese cedar soaking tub. The walls are a natural black pebble, the floors are cedar, and a barn door, made from salvaged wood, closes the space for privacy.
Each bedroom is on an elevated platform, and access doors under the room open to a storage space. For this door Price took two square steel plates and placed them on rollers. They separate for entry to the crawl space.
A copper wall creates texture over a custom sink. The sink came from a wool factory, where it once collected clippings from the sheep. Price added a custom basin to the basket and two wood panels along the top.
Black pebbles cover the walls of a steam shower, which seals by way of a sliding resin door. The custom resin panels preserve twigs and leaves and continue the natural motif in the bathroom.
Another bathroom features the same black pebbles and a semiprivate wall of dry vines between the sink and toilet. The stone sink “was meant to be a birdbath or something,” Price says. She had a custom concrete base made to elevate and give new purpose to the bowl.
After spending twelve years creating this unique loft space, Price and her family have decided to sell the loft. They purchased a home just a couple of miles away, an old Tudor that Price will be renovating. The family has changing needs with two kids who have grown older, the new home will provide them with a yard and an area for a garden. She said it was very sad to leave her handiwork behind but she is excited by the prospects the new home will bring.
Photos: KuDa Photography
North Rim Residence is a gorgeous two story custom designed mountain home by architecture firm Mount Bachelor Design Studio, located in Bend, Oregon. The home was designed for a down-sloping mountains-facing lot. The main level includes a central gourmet kitchen, surrounded by an east-facing nook, formal dining, and Great Room. A large master suite and laundry room complete this level, with a detached casita just off the main entry.
The lower level houses children’s bedrooms, along with media and entertainment spaces. The top level serves as a family exercise room. The west facade incorporates many innovative and contemporary sun control features, while preserving the Cascade mountain views.
Photos: Courtesy of Mount Bachelor Design Studio
This stunning 1950s ranch house remodel project has been designed by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design, situated in the southwest Portland hills, Oregon. The house sits on a steep lot, with the front door on the upper level and the lower level opening out to a beautiful south-facing garden. In the first phase of the remodel, the designer conducted space planning for the entire project, but only completed a remodel of the upper floor. The lower floor, which will include a new master suite, will be remodeled in a few years. The upper floor remodel included the kitchen, dining room, living room and hall.
After worrying about how to address a back hall that felt like a dark narrow tunnel, we decided to just accept it and painted it a dark charcoal grey. We embellished the walls with abstract modern flowers in various shades of grey and black, and added a big mirror as well as a mirrored cabinet at the end of the hall, to add sparkle and light.
The original kitchen and dining room had dark wood panelling, and only a few small windows despite the beautiful south facing views. We added windows and french doors along the whole south wall, and removed a wall separating the kitchen and dining room. We designed a new bright and functional kitchen with lots of storage in white lacquer and bamboo cabinets.
The new kitchen has a generous island as well as an inviting breakfast nook, with a custom table of our design, built by our friend Kari at merkled. The living room painting is by one of our favorite Portland artists, Kelly Neidig. We freshened the dining set, which was a family heirloom that the clients wanted to keep, by lacquering the chairs in a fresh pale blue-green and reupholstering the seats in a bright red.
Photos: Lincoln Barbour
Hollcroft Residence has been designed by Giulietti Schouten Architects, offering a modern design aesthetic in a location with easy access to downtown Portland, Oregon. The client is a married couple with no children who were relocating from Seattle. The couple wished to purchase an affordable home, since they were on a fixed budget based on the proceeds form the sale of their Seattle home. The 1,900 square foot house was sited on a vacant 50’x100’ corner lot 5 miles west of Portland. The neighborhood had no underlying aesthetic, as at it was comprised of a wide variety of homes dating from the 1950s through present day.
A modern composition of wood screen walls and composite wood veneer panels give the home a warm, inviting yet modern feel. The series of wood screen walls also provide privacy to the outdoor deck and patio spaces as well as the interior living and dining areas. The living room windows and clerestories take advantage of the southern sunlight.
The simple shed roofs complement the modern aesthetic while providing protection from the rainy climate.
The floor plan is simple and catered to the clients’ active lifestyles; hence, the master bedroom is accessible from the mud/utility room for easy clean up after cycling or running.
Photos: David Papazian
Portland Hilltop House is a single-family home with a simple, long bar plan designed by Olson Kundig Architects and situated in Portland, Oregon. Although primarily wood frame construction, many structural steel elements are contained within its design features. The two-story home features a rhythmical spacing of floor-to-ceiling windows providing a rigorous proportion and rhythm along the south elevation. Views across the main axis – from the courtyard to the south-facing balconies – provide a strong connection to the outdoors. A lantern-like entry vestibule surrounded by windows is covered by a large thin steel plate canopy that appears to float above it, welcoming visitors to the house from the motor court.
The main level includes living areas, an office, and a master suite. From the main level, the landscape slopes down to expose a lower level with a media room, pool room, and guest quarters, as well as a 100-foot library stretching along the entire north wall. The master suite angles away from the rest of the house, taking in the best views and seemingly hanging in the trees.
The architects applied an industrial aesthetic to the family room. Blackened-steel panels sheathe the fireplace wall; a concrete slab forms a minimalist hearth. The furnishings and rug echo the colors and forms of Kundig’s architecture.
Photos: Tim Bies Photography
S-T Residence is an incredible contemporary home design with a beautiful sunroom addition in Portland, Oregon, designed by Emerick Architects. The sunroom was added onto the kitchen to create a strong connection between the interior and the beautiful large garden area. The bi-fold doors open to a covered porch to expand the living area.
The bi-fold doors to the back and the French doors to the side give this newly added sun room the feeling of being an outdoor space. The wrap around porch makes this a perfect area for entertaining.
The new sun room is open to the newly remodeled kitchen which makes a perfect space for casual entertaining.
The kitchen and sun room open out to the lovely garden space making it a perfect place for summer entertaining.
The newly remodeled kitchen is both beautiful and functional with large appliances and open shelves to display the owner’s pottery collection. The space is expanded by a renovated butler’s pantry through the cased opening.
This eating area and built-in desk was added off of the kitchen and new sun room providing an open, light-filled space.
A pair of large windows are framed by a built-in wood desk flanked by open shelves. The desk area is conveniently located off the kitchen and provides a lovely view to the garden.
This light-filled butler’s pantry with custom built-in cabinets provides a functional transition between the kitchen and dining room in this lovely 1920’s home.
The wall color in this contemporary living room is Benjamin Moore Mustard Field #377.
Photos: Courtesy of Emerick Architects
Crane Building Penthouse has been designed by Giulietti Schouten Architects, located within the urban core of Portland, Oregon, nestled atop the historic 1909 Crane Building, an old brick plumbing warehouse. This seventh floor 2,500 square foot penthouse has established views of the city, bridges and west hills but its historic status restricted any changes to the exterior or window and door locations. Further limitations included maintaining all existing plumbing locations and staying within the existing ceiling framing.
With their three kids leaving for college, this husband and wife wanted to shed their life of their large suburban house and start anew in the heart of the active Pearl District. Even though their current house was close to their high-pressure work in the High-Tech field they desired to distance themselves and create a sort of “urban refuge above the city”, a personal retreat where they both could entertain and work on occasion as well as provide a home for their grown-up children.
Key Plan Concepts:
Reclaimed Australian Chestnut flooring was chosen for its warmth, while Dark Sapele at the built-ins, entry and sliding gallery door provides a sharp contrast to the white stone counters. The clients requested the mudroom/pantry to be hidden yet accessible to reduce clutter and noise within the open living areas.
The design needed to create a functional open living/dining/kitchen and media area for both entertaining and working. The dining and kitchen area especially needed to be expandable for family gatherings and contracting for daily use. Recessed automated roller-shades screen the afternoon west light, and help maintain clean lines.
The various vaulted ceilings were retained to maximize daylight and wrapped in clear cedar to give warmth and further define the many unusual ceiling angles. A custom welded steel fireplace with an oil-rubbed finish was designed to be the visual anchor of the living room. The intent was to contrast it with the concrete walls while connecting it to the notion of exposed steel in the original building.
A custom sliding sapele screen at the entry provides immediate privacy for the bedrooms when entertaining yet also invites guests to “discover” the gallery on the other side where the original steel and concrete structure were left exposed.
Photos: David Papazian
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