Dwell Home Tours Makes its Way to Portland

In August 2016, we’re taking Dwell Home Tours to Portland for the first time.
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Join us for the fourth stop of the series, where we’ll be hosting self-guided tours through five modern residences—all of which reveal unique aspects of Pacific Northwest architecture. The program will begin with Meet the Architects night on the evening of August 26 at the Portland Art Museum. Mark your calendar for a chance to meet and mingle with the architects and designers who created the houses you’ll be visiting—all of which have been carefully selected by Dwell editors. On Saturday, August 27, the doors of the featured homes will be open for you to explore at your convenience. The tour will start on Saturday morning when you pick up your combined ticket/information guide (stay tuned for the confirmed pick-up location). 

Continue reading for a sneak peek into the five featured houses and make sure to reserve your spot here. By purchasing a home tour ticket, you’ll receive a complimentary pass to Meet the Architects night—you can register for the evening here. Following this stop, we’ll be making our way to two Northern California locales: Silicon Valley and Marin. Here, you’ll find all the information you need. 

*Please note that to protect the privacy of the residents, we can't reveal the addresses before the morning of the tour. 

Phoenix Passive House by Hinge Build Group 

One of the featured residences will be the Phoenix Passive House, which was designed by Scott Kosmecki of Hinge Build Group. As a Portland native, Kosmecki takes on projects where he can explore the balance between constructed and natural environments. When visiting this house, you’ll be blown away by the thoughtful planning that went into making it as energy-efficient, resilient, and environmentally friendly as possible. To ensure they were on the right track, the design team carefully followed the PHIUS (Passive House Institute US) energy certification standards. 

The exterior of the Phoenix Passive House is lined with locally milled cedar siding. With a dual-wall construction, the structure is covered with an Agepan weather protective barrier—also known as wax-impregnated fiberboard. The triple-paned windows were fabricated in Seattle and framed with Oregon-grown FSC certified wood. They’re outfitted with automated exterior solar shades. Additionally, the house is prewired for a car charging station. 

The interior is filled with a range of salvaged woods. Throughout the space, you’ll find floors made of white oak from Oregon, reclaimed red oak, and cork. The open kitchen features quartz counters, an induction cooktop, and salvaged wood accents. 

The home’s roof is constructed of 80 percent recycled content. The interior system boasts a Mitsubishi mini-split heat pump, a Zehnder heat recovery ventilator (HRV), and an integrated home performance monitoring system by PowerWise. 

Glisan Street Residence by Allied Works Architecture 

Another house on the tour will be the Glisan Street Residence, designed by Brad Cloepfil, founder and principal of Allied Works Architecture. This four-bedroom, three-bath home is located on the fourth floor of a 14,000-square-foot mixed-use building. Sitting in a historic retail and residential neighborhood, it's the only residential unit in the building, which mainly consists of offices, a retail space, and a roof garden.

From the street view of the Glisan Street Residence, you can see the mix of materials that make up the structure including a steel frame, large expanses of windows, stainless steel mesh panels, and slate cladding. The ground floor hosts a storefront with floor-to-ceiling windows from one exposure. 

Within the 3,500-square-foot interior, the neutral setting acts as a serene canvas for the owners’ art and furniture collections. When touring the home, you’ll also find a 600-square-foot exterior terrace. 

The interior features French limestone floors, glass mosaic wall tiles by Ann Sacks, and sliding glass doors from Kawneer.  

Fivesquare by LEVER Architecture

The doors will also be open to the Fivesquare residence, which was originally a "Foursquare" house that was built in 1910. In the early 20th century, this type of family housing was exceedingly common in Oregon and was usually centralized around two primary walls that were crossed to form four symmetrical spaces on each floor. Thomas Robinson of LEVER Architecture transformed this house into an open and livable modern home.

Thomas Robinson of LEVER Architecture restored the exterior of the house in order to resurface the original wood facade, which had been covered up by vinyl siding at one point. They turned the unused attic into a "FifthSquare": a box-like structure that acts as an office and mini-theater, complete with a ceiling-mounted projector and drop-down screen. The exterior of the extension is clad with charred cedar, which integrates smoothly into the asphalt shingle roof. 

Robinson punched two large openings through the primary wall in the center of the house to create a larger, more inviting living environment. The kitchen includes white oak flooring, rift-cut white oak veneer cabinets, and ceramic tile from Heath. 

Robinson built an airy wood stairway to bring more light up onto the second and third floors. The updated third floor looks out to views of Portland’s West Hills. 

MW House by Lisa McClellan and Hunter Williams 

We’ll also be visiting a high-performance residence named the MW House. Two architects—Lisa McClellan (principal at Scott|Edwards Architecture LLP) and Hunter Williams (owner of Lyons Hunter Williams : Architecture)—designed and built the residence for themselves. They created it to perform optimally in the regional climate and to fit well into the neighborhood. The house boasts a strong connection to the outdoors, multiple green features, and an abundance of natural light.

Interspersed throughout the gray siding are segments of horizontal natural finished cedar siding that they installed themselves. To fit with their active indoor/outdoor lifestyle, they included an exterior bike room that’s accessible under the house’s cover. 

The team used board-formed concrete and FSC certified framing lumber that they cleaned and reused to frame the house. During construction, they wanted to make sure they’d be able to install a green roof in the near future on the flat areas. To do this, they pre-engineered the desired sections in order to hold the weight.  

The house is heated by radiant hydronic heat and the ground floor includes a concrete slab that’s heated to a constant temperature. Additionally, approximately 97 percent of the house is lit with efficient LED lights. 

All the rooms are cross-ventilated and a central stairwell skylight is designed to be opened in order to flush out hot air.  

Shown here is the exterior private courtyard, where McClellan and Williams did their own landscaping. 

Base Camp by Olson Group Architects 

The fifth house you’ll be able to explore at your convenience, will be the Base Camp residence, designed by Curt Olson of Olson Group Architects. This five-bedroom home was designed to provide seclusion and privacy while also creating an integrated indoor/outdoor living experience.

Olson equipped the structure with a combination of concrete, metal, and wood. He turned to Elmwood Reclaimed Timber to source the solid reclaimed wood beams from Kansas. Jonathan Laycock of Laycock Gardens was the landscape architect while Grove Hunt of Grove Development was the builder. 

Olson worked with Jessie Sweet to design the interiors. The kitchen hosts cabinetry from Oregon Custom Cabinets and a specialized window is integrated into the backsplash. 

From the back of the house, two 15-foot bi-folding doors from Centor fully open up into the main living area. 


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