Take a Trip Through the Pacific Northwest With 10 Modern Spaces

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By Byron Loker
A strong creative streak runs through the Pacific Northwest, which has recently led to a number of startups popping up in cities such as Portland, which has become one of the nation’s hottest urban economies.

Here, we venture into the region's major cities—Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, and beyond—to see how architecture is flourishing in this milieu.

1. Vanglo House in Vancouver

Take a Trip Through the Pacific Northwest With 10 Modern Spaces - Photo 1 of 10 - Vanglo selected this abandoned site within Vancouver's Mount Pleasant neighborhood to design a home that sets the tone for conscientious development. This award-winning home includes green development materials and processes.

Vanglo selected this abandoned site within Vancouver's Mount Pleasant neighborhood to design a home that sets the tone for conscientious development. This award-winning home includes green development materials and processes.

Take a Trip Through the Pacific Northwest With 10 Modern Spaces - Photo 2 of 10 - Perched over a cliff face, the hooded deck of the Gambier Residence reads like a ship’s prow over Howe Sound, the scenic waters near Vancouver.

Perched over a cliff face, the hooded deck of the Gambier Residence reads like a ship’s prow over Howe Sound, the scenic waters near Vancouver.

Take a Trip Through the Pacific Northwest With 10 Modern Spaces - Photo 3 of 10 - Scott & Scott Architects designed an outdoorsy Vancouver family’s dream cabin.

Scott & Scott Architects designed an outdoorsy Vancouver family’s dream cabin.

Take a Trip Through the Pacific Northwest With 10 Modern Spaces - Photo 4 of 10 - In Vancouver’s Strathcona district, two side-by-side lots now hold seven residences—thanks to a thoughtful renovation of a pair Edwardian houses and the addition of a laneway, or alley, building by Shape Architecture. The team salvaged as much 120-year-old siding as they could for use on the street-facing facades.

In Vancouver’s Strathcona district, two side-by-side lots now hold seven residences—thanks to a thoughtful renovation of a pair Edwardian houses and the addition of a laneway, or alley, building by Shape Architecture. The team salvaged as much 120-year-old siding as they could for use on the street-facing facades.

Take a Trip Through the Pacific Northwest With 10 Modern Spaces - Photo 5 of 10 - A 7,000-square-foot warehouse in the city’s industrial North Portland neighborhood plays host to Beam & Anchor and its equally expansive inventory of goods.

A 7,000-square-foot warehouse in the city’s industrial North Portland neighborhood plays host to Beam & Anchor and its equally expansive inventory of goods.

Take a Trip Through the Pacific Northwest With 10 Modern Spaces - Photo 6 of 10 - The triangle is this home’s leitmotiv, appearing in the cantilevered bedroom module and the steps approaching the entrance. "It’s grown-up Legos," says Kaja Taft, describing her modular prefabricated house in Northeast Portland, designed by Jeff Kovel of Skylab Architecture. 

The triangle is this home’s leitmotiv, appearing in the cantilevered bedroom module and the steps approaching the entrance. "It’s grown-up Legos," says Kaja Taft, describing her modular prefabricated house in Northeast Portland, designed by Jeff Kovel of Skylab Architecture. 

Take a Trip Through the Pacific Northwest With 10 Modern Spaces - Photo 7 of 10 - Jessica Helgerson Interior Design, with project manager and lead designer Emily Kudsen Leland at the helm, remade a Portland abode with a crisp paint palette: Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron for the cladding and Venetian Gold for the front door. Landscape design is by Lilyvilla Gardens.

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design, with project manager and lead designer Emily Kudsen Leland at the helm, remade a Portland abode with a crisp paint palette: Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron for the cladding and Venetian Gold for the front door. Landscape design is by Lilyvilla Gardens.

Take a Trip Through the Pacific Northwest With 10 Modern Spaces - Photo 8 of 10 - For Seattle architects Matt Wittman and Jody Estes, the slow road to upsizing really paid off.<br>Facing rising housing costs downtown, they traded an apartment for a small house in a gritty neighborhood, sensing promise in a deep, skinny lot with a scrap-filled yard. A crushed stone perimeter fills in the carport and steps to the courtyard. Wittman explains: "We wanted to continue the blurring of Japanese landscape design with modernists like Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright."

For Seattle architects Matt Wittman and Jody Estes, the slow road to upsizing really paid off.
Facing rising housing costs downtown, they traded an apartment for a small house in a gritty neighborhood, sensing promise in a deep, skinny lot with a scrap-filled yard. A crushed stone perimeter fills in the carport and steps to the courtyard. Wittman explains: "We wanted to continue the blurring of Japanese landscape design with modernists like Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright."

Take a Trip Through the Pacific Northwest With 10 Modern Spaces - Photo 9 of 10 - "The house turns its back to the street while opening up to the views to the northeast through a large glazed corner window system," Hutchison says. One-by-four and one-by-six inch cedar siding, which were pre-stained in Cabot Semi-Transparent Black, were placed vertically and horizontally on the exterior as a subtle detail.

"The house turns its back to the street while opening up to the views to the northeast through a large glazed corner window system," Hutchison says. One-by-four and one-by-six inch cedar siding, which were pre-stained in Cabot Semi-Transparent Black, were placed vertically and horizontally on the exterior as a subtle detail.

Take a Trip Through the Pacific Northwest With 10 Modern Spaces - Photo 10 of 10 - In Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, Heliotrope Architects and Dovetail General Contractors teamed up to create a spacious 3,953-square-foot residence with simple forms and defined functions. A cedar-clad front facade features one of the home’s defining design elements: a cantilevered gable that appears to float over the garage. The project is composed of two unique forms, divergent in convention but complementary in execution. &nbsp;

In Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, Heliotrope Architects and Dovetail General Contractors teamed up to create a spacious 3,953-square-foot residence with simple forms and defined functions. A cedar-clad front facade features one of the home’s defining design elements: a cantilevered gable that appears to float over the garage. The project is composed of two unique forms, divergent in convention but complementary in execution.  

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