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
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
Nob Hill Penthouse is a stunning modern project designed by Kim Hagstette with Maven Interiors in Portland, Oregon. The home was featured on the cover of Luxe Magazine Summer 2013 NW edition. The penthouse is comprised of 4,000 square foot of living space, designed for empty-nesters. This was a major renovation that took the better part of a year to complete. All the artwork and furnishings are new as well. The penthouse living room is sophisticated and inviting. The artwork was created specifically for the space and commissioned through Heidi McBride Gallery.
Art: Heidi McBride Gallery and Art Consultancy. This living room image shows how the right art combination and lighting can truly transform an interior.
This penthouse kitchen was completely gutted and remodeled. The view from the floor to ceiling windows would inspire anyone to spend a lot of time cooking in this kitchen.
This light filled living room is all about texture and shimmer. The artwork throughout was largely commissioned and sourced through Heidi McBride Gallery. The dining room table was a custom design by Made Inc.
The dining room table was custom designed by Bo Hagood with Made Inc. The artwork was a commissioned piece by an artist in Palm Springs named Downs. The art for this project was selected as a collaborative process with Heidi McBride.
This awkward room posed an interesting design challenge. This narrow space adjacent to the kitchen now serves as entertaining lounge space and boasts the most magnificent views in the home. The light fixtures were custom designed by Maven Interiors, and Made Inc. The glass shades were hand blown and silvered by Esque Studio. The tables and channel tufted faux fur wall was also a joint collaboration between Maven Interiors and Made Inc. The sapele mahogany wall connects to the kitchen and unifies the entire space. The television bracket is motorized and operated by a remote that allows the TV to telescope out and angle so it can be viewed from either the lounge seating or kitchen table area.
Detail view of the narrow lounge space. The light fixture, table and channel tufted faux fur wall were a joint collaboration between Maven Interiors and Made Inc.
This media room was designed with all the bells and whistles (hidden). The dark walls, ceiling and motorized blackout draperies help set the tone. The television wall was custom designed to conceal all the speakers, subwoofer and AV equipment behind twisted felt panels. All the high definition sound comes through without any distraction from visual clutter. The wall was custom design by Maven Interiors and the custom felt textile is by Moufelt.
This bed was custom designed for this project. It was a collaboration between Maven Interiors. Made Inc., and Moufelt. The custom felt headboard screen not only provides unique beauty, but it serves to provide extra privacy from the wall of windows in this intimate space.
The fireplace wall in the master bedroom exemplifies the thoughtful use of surface materials. From the hand patina on the cold rolled steel fireplace to the silk wallcovering, shiny mirrored bureau and highly textured wool area rug– the contrasting materials create an exquisite and unexpected combination.
Every home needs a surprise room. This powder room became the perfect small space to make a big impact.
Nighttime view of the living room. We love the way lighting transforms this entire home. The shadow play and shimmery effect that happens at night is an almost magical transformation.
Photos: Lincoln Barbour Photo
SE Division Street is a commercial building project that was transformed by Emerick Architects into an industrial home by adding a second story light-filled living space in Portland, Oregon. An open floor plan, lots of large windows and door panels and 12 foot tall ceilings give it the character of an industrial loft. Custom stainless kitchen cabinetry combined with vintage fixtures and furniture carry out the eclectic feel of an old urban loft.
A machined hood, custom stainless cabinetry and exposed ducting harkens to a commercial vibe. The 5’x10′ marble topped island wears many hats. It serves as a large work surface, tons of storage, informal seating, and a visual line that separates the eating and cooking areas.
Windows and door panels reaching for the 12 foot ceilings flood this kitchen with natural light. Custom stainless cabinetry with an integral sink and commercial style faucet carry out the industrial theme of the space.
Upon entering the penthouse the light and dark contrast continues. The exposed ceiling structure is stained to mimic the 1st floor’s “tarred” ceiling. The reclaimed fir plank floor is painted a light vanilla cream. And, the hand plastered concrete fireplace is the visual anchor that all the rooms radiate off of. Tucked behind the fireplace is an intimate library space.
A glimpse into the office space from the living room reveals the large custom built-in painted wood filing and storage cabinet below the windows. Clerestory windows above the desk bring in additional natural light.
A custom-designed paneled zinc barn door is a piece of art, as well as functioning to close off the living space when desired.
A huge wall of windows faces the bed and billowy parachute curtains soften the space. The room was left simple and intimate to create restfulness.
With the floor to ceiling windows continuing through into the bathroom, and white details throughout, the room is airy and filled with light. The sink is re-purposed from a commercial building and the custom zinc medicine cabinets are extra deep and outfitted with outlets so that the bathroom clutter is contained.
The movement is orchestrated so that you experience the heavier/darker ground floor upon entering the building and then travel up through the light filled stairway.
The concrete stair treads and steel risers wrap around the hand plastered elevator shaft.
The interior stair that leads up to the living space is filled with natural light and gives way to a view of the rooftop outdoor terrace and garden.
Setting the penthouse 12 feet away from the property lines allowed for outdoor rooms. as well as another opportunity for an environmental feature: storm water management. With tall light embracing windows and bi-fold doors the indoors feels a part of the outdoors and vice versa.
The exterior terrace features large concrete tiles, built-in planters and a reflecting pool. Amber string lights provide mood lighting outside the dining space.
The second story was added atop this existing commercial building to make a new loft-style residence. The existing building received new windows and a facelift to blend with the new rooftop dwelling.
Photos: Lincoln Barber
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