Infil-L

Portland, OR

type: custom home

status: built

Portland, Oregon is a quickly growing city.  In order to house the population growth while containing sprawl, we are looking to creative ways of accomplishing density.  With the majority of the city’s housing being single family detached, infill housing in our close-in neighborhoods is an integral part to accommodating our residents. 

In the case of this project, the clients, having outgrown their 1908 bungalow, wanted to build a new home for their growing family while staying in the neighborhood they’ve lived for 20 years.  Additionally, they sought to contribute to the city’s housing stock and their neighboring community.  The solution was to divide their 50 foot wide X 125 foot deep site into two parcels.  One parcel for the bungalow and a second ‘L’ shaped parcel for their new home.

The unique shape of the new parcel, with its narrow 25 foot street frontage, along with seeking to strike a balance between seclusion and natural light, informed the design of the new structure.  

The existing homes surrounding this site are mostly century + old, two story bungalows and four squares.  Instead of competing with the rhythm of these homes, we chose to design a modest front façade that recedes from the neighbors and allows the new house to surprise as it shifts and wraps around the client’s existing bungalow.

Although shy from the street, once inside, there is much more to the house than the 15 foot wide façade suggests.  A narrow entry gallery opens up to a wider main living space where a monochromatic palette of soft white walls, reclaimed wood, smoked glass, and painted casework was chosen to create a calming atmosphere.   A wall of glass punctuated by an accordion door folds away to eliminate the boundary between the interior and exterior, connecting the main living space with the covered rear deck and  private yard.

The interior spaces are focused to maintain privacy, due to the proximity of the neighboring buildings.  To bring daylight into the house, cutouts through the floors, roof, and wall planes were strategically placed to track daylight across the plan while blocking views between the adjacent properties. 

In addition to these cutouts, a centralized circulation shaft containing skylights, wall glazing, and a 3 story perforated steel staircase allows filtered light to penetrate the center of the home.  The reward for climbing the see-thru stairs is a sunny and private roof top deck.

In order to create a light filled master bathroom within a small footprint while maintaining privacy, the tub and shower were designed as one wet space under a generous skylight and frosted glazing. Contrasting black tile and brass fixtures add to the drama of the space.

In our treatment of the exterior, we chose black metal and reclaimed wood cladding, intentionally applied to express the shifting shapes and cantilevered forms of the home.  Custom steel "fins" frame the more exposed window glazing for shading and to further contribute to the balance between ‘desire for seclusion’ and ‘need for natural light’.

"Infil-L" is the second home designed for these clients by M.O.Daby Design. 10 years prior, we designed our "loft house" project for them on their neighboring property.

 

 

Credits:

Design: Matthew O. Daby - M.O.Daby Design

Construction: Cellar Ridge Construction

Structural engineer: Hayden Engineers

Custom steel fabricator: Flux Design

Landscape designer:  EcoTone Environmental

Photography: KLIK Concepts

Press:

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