Minimal glass and steel structure on Oregon Coast: 360 House

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A sheltered deck is punched into the west facade, protected from the wind and connected to the living spaces by wide sliding doors.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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To maintain flow and consistency, beds, desk and cabinetry were custom made.

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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.

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A single piece steel frame supports the floating white oak staircase.

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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.

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Photos: Tim Bies

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