The Council Crest Residence is a renovation and addition to an early 1950’s house built for inventor Karl Kurz, whose work included stereoscopic cameras and projectors. Designed by prominent local architect Roscoe Hemenway, the house was built with a traditional ranch exterior and a mid-century modern interior. Nearing the end of a career filled with period revival houses, the architect perched the house on the edge of a bluff overlooking the convergence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. On a clear day there are four mountains are visible on the horizon. It became known as “The View-Master House,” alluding to both the inventions of its owner and the dramatic view through the glass entry.
New owners wished to maintain existing modern qualities in a freshly conceived home, with
sleek horizontal lines and a minimalist aesthetic representing the young family’s own careers in product design and their active lifestyle.
Approached from a small neighborhood park, the home was re-clad maintaining its welcoming scale, with privacy obtained through thoughtful placement of translucent glass, clerestory windows, and a stone screen wall. The original entry was maintained as a glass aperture, a threshold between the quiet residential neighborhood and the dramatic view over the city of Portland and landscape beyond. At the south terrace, an outdoor fireplace is integrated into the stone wall providing a comfortable space for the family and their guests.
Within the existing footprint, the main floor living spaces were completely remodeled. Raised ceilings and new windows create open, light filled spaces. An upper floor was added within the original profile creating a master suite, study, and south facing deck. Space flows freely around a central core while continuous clerestory windows reinforce the sense of openness and expansion as the roof and wall planes extend to the exterior.
View from Park
Walkway from south terrace to front entry
Entrance with views to the city
View of the city from upper deck
Diagram: Existing vs. Renovation/Addition