Columbia Gorge House

Located in Oregon’s scenic Columbia Gorge, this site presented unique opportunities and challenges to which the home’s design responds. Because of the property’s sweeping views of the gorge and picturesque rolling hills, it would be logical to place the house at the highest point possible to capture them. However, the rocky, sloping terrain is buffeted by strong winds that change direction with the seasons. In response, we nestled the home into a hill, just below its crest, creating a series of outdoor spaces that offer both views and protection from the elements at different times of day and year.

 

The site has a raw, wild beauty, and to preserve its character, we wanted the structure to sit lightly on it. The compact concrete foundation appears to rise from the ground like the local basalt, while the structure cantilevers out over the slope. ts large, glass expanses are framed by materials that reflect the rugged surroundings: metal, wood and concrete.

 

The owners plan to split their time between the city and the gorge, and sought a residence where they could work, relax and entertain. One of the owners works in the visual arts field, and the house is designed with the display of art in mind, with walls arranged for its exhibition while long views within the home create focal points for pieces in the couple’s collection.