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We have a passion for clarity— transforming complex conditions into spaces of elemental beauty and enduring value.

We work with our clients and partners to solve problems, reveal insights, and create inviting architecture for every place and purpose.

Courtyard House




Pre Construction
The Courtyard House is imagined as a garden wall, designed to create an outdoor sanctuary for a young family captivated by the stark beauty and expansive horizon of Oregon’s High Desert. The courtyard is centered around the home’s loop configuration, which organizes living spaces along a 15’-wide bar that processes from public to private, daytime to nighttime, and social to solitary. At strategic moments along this sequence, covered outdoor areas and secondary entrances extend indoor functions into the outdoors, while the home’s efficient 15’ width further strengthens its relationship to its setting by supporting the penetration of daylight, natural ventilation, and views into the home’s interior.

In deference to its High Desert surroundings and to the majestic ponderosa pines that cradle this intimate-feeling neighborhood, the simple single-story volume of the Courtyard House is firmly grounded upon the site. By bringing the landscape into the courtyard, and by serving as a backdrop for restored native vegetation on the site, the home is designed to become part of the site and neighborhood. In keeping with this, we propose that its main entry be along Stafford Loop. This entry experience feels nested within and connected to the neighborhood and minimizes driveway congestion along Meeks Trail.

The home’s form and materiality are intentionally elemental in an effort to connect the structure to its surroundings. Chosen for its highly insulative and fire-resistive nature and material efficiency, we propose using AAC block finished in interior and exterior lime plaster. The natural finish of lime plaster coupled with the performance efficiencies of AAC block feel appropriate for a residence in the High Desert, and we and our GC have had a substantial engagement with AAC specialists in Central Oregon. While not officially seeking an environmental certification, this approach could establish a model that is environmentally sound and architecturally elegant.

The landscape concept for the Courtyard House celebrates the house’s location within the local Bend ecology by treating the house as a garden wall set within a carpet of the native landscape. The landscape creates a seamless transition between the native buffer around the edge of the property to the house. Within the courtyard, native planting surrounds gathering areas to create a landscape that immerses the family in the native landscape. The overall ethic we are using when approaching landscape design is one of restoration and preservation. Much of the existing native vegetation within the property line will be preserved. Areas of the site that are disturbed during construction will be planted with a mix of native shrubs, grasses, and forbs so that the site blends with the native landscape buffer that surrounds the site. New aspen trees are being carefully sited along the Meeks Trail frontage to frame windows and views. Plant selection and plant spacing will follow ARC design guidelines for planting as well as wildland fire protection standards.