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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.

Oakley House

Portland, Oregon


Lara Swimmer

Completed 2013

    ︎︎︎ 2016 AIA Portland Merit Award
    ︎︎︎ 2013 Custom Home Magazine Merit Award
    ︎︎︎ 2016 April, Dwell
    ︎︎︎ 2013 November, Portland Architecture

A pre-existing 28’ x 28’ foundation was used as a starting point for the Oakley House. Maintaining this foundation was the lender’s requirement for a cost-effective renovation loan (rather than a standard new construction loan). Due to dry rot and deferred maintenance, only the foundation and first floor framing were worth reusing. With this footprint constraint, the house was built anew on top of the existing foundation. This was both a cost-effective solution and a solution that saved embodied energy through the foundation and other material reuse. To accommodate 4 bedrooms the second story cantilevers out in the front and back of the house, providing the upstairs with adequate room while simultaneously creating covered outdoor space on both ends. From the side elevation, the house profile takes on the form of a “T.”

The dark corrugated cladding is a continuous, uninterrupted surface punctuated only by the window openings and porches. The porch walls and ceiling are made of painted white MDO panels giving the impression that they have been “carved out” of a pure rectangular block. The ground-level living space is envisioned as a wooden “container.” The floor, windows, and walls are all made of maple, giving a simple and concise definition to the living space volume. Centered in the room is a free-standing bookshelf dividing the living and dining realms. On the north wall, an opening in the wood paneling reveals a stairway leading to the bedrooms.