Columbia River Gorge Residence

Located within the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area on a 10-acre forested site, the home sits within a natural south-facing clearing.  The home is designed around the Japanese concept of “wabi sabi”, which embraces natural materials and their inherent imperfection and unpredictabilities and yet, the character is serene and beautiful.


The entry sequence to the home was inspired by traditional Japanese courtyard homes.  After entering through a bamboo gate and over a stone bridge, the progression continues along the edge of the courtyard and leads finally to the entry door.  This experience is enhanced by the use of wood siding and stone which warms the courtyard visually.  The central courtyard turns stormwater runoff into an asset by routing it through a sculptural rock garden.


To optimize the passive solar design abilities, large roof overhangs with exposed double rafter tails were designed to protect the window  openings during the summer but then also allow for winter sun to penetrate deep into the interior of the home  Most rooms have both a courtyard and outward facing forest views.


In addition to the site's storm water system, other conscientious design features include a HRV system (heat recovery ventilation system), a stained concrete floor with in-floor radiant heating, sprayed-in soy-based wall and roof insulation, salvaged wood stair treads, concrete counter tops, low flow plumbing fixtures, and ample filtered natural daylighting which reduces the need for artificial lighting during the day.

departure:  architecture interiors planning llc