“Initially the design had the studios completely separated from the main house with a sort of breezeway in between,” says Stern, who ultimately decided to physically connect them in a way that evokes walking through the outdoors. “The studios and breezeway are separated from the main house with pocket doors to create privacy when needed, and allow it to function as a separate guest suite for overnight visitors.”
While the home’s simple, boxy forms starkly contrast with surrounding residences, its compact shape and modest scale help it fit into the traditional neighborhood without calling attention to itself. The house was built around a large birch tree, with dwarf fountain grass and porcupine grass planted in front. A weeping blue atlas cedar provides a focal point near the front door.
The Passive House-certified home features high levels of insulation and high-performing, triple-glazed windows from Zola European Windows and Doors. Ample south-facing glazing is enhanced by exterior motorized aluminum shades, which can be lowered to block unwanted summer sun. A mahogany deck, finished with Penofin penetrating oil, hosts cafe chairs and a red table from Design Within Reach.
A green laminate countertop by Abet Laminati is surrounded by Norman Foster’s Emeco 20-06 counter stools at the island in the kitchen, which has an integrated Frigidaire induction range, Faber Cylindra Isola range hood, Blomberg dishwasher, Fisher & Paykel fridge, and flat-grain fir plywood cabinets by Portland craftsman Doug Chamblin.