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Loft House

Portland, OR

type: custom home on

          existing foundation

status: built

This modern, loft-like home was built on the foundation of a deteriorated house.  The home is located on a unique flag shaped property tucked behind and to the east of the client’s primary residence. The owners asked for a fun, modern guest house with strong connection to their primary yard to the west. In the event that they decide to sell it, they also want the house to exist on it’s own with connection to the east yard.

Inspiration was drawn from the iconic pavilions and gazebos often found in backyards and parks.  These simple structures, with open sides, achieve the perfect sheltered space without disconnecting from the surrounding landscape.  The guest home achieves this same sheltered connection to the yard through glass walls on both sides of the living space.  Opening the nine foot wide by ten foot tall glazed roll up doors gives an uninterrupted connection to the yard like that of a park pavilion.

The new home also draws inspiration from the simple shapes, proportions, and elements of surrounding classic Portland houses.  The front porch is a contemporary interpretation of the front porches of the neighboring homes, and although tucked back from the street is positioned for its welcoming presence as viewed down the narrow path from the street.

Due to the close proximity of neighbors adjacent to the tight 3000 square foot lot, special consideration was paid to the position of the home’s spaces and glazed openings.  Windows were placed to frame interesting views, maintain privacy, and invite sunlight.

The design uses natural daylight and dynamic forms, lofty volume, and rhythms to transform its small footprint and simple shape into an always changing experience.  Multiple exterior cladding materials break down the scale of the home and develop rhythms with the forms, while an abundance of glass welcomes the sunlight to create shadows that continually transform the interior’s gallery white walls.

Along with its connection to the outdoors, the home lists many environmentally friendly and sustainable features.


Notable sustainable features:

-solar water heating

-solar electricity

-natural ventilation/cooling

-reclaimed framing and finish wood from local trees

-reused wood from deconstructed existing house

-advanced framing techniques

-rain screen siding application

-high performance spray foam insulation

-rain water collection

-high efficiency mini-split heat pumps

-wood composite floor joists and roof rafters

-water efficient/native landscaping

-reused existing foundation

-metal roof



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

Construction: Green Hammer Construction, homeowners

Stairs carpentry: Rich Hogan

Structural engineer: Willamette Building Solutions

Reclaimed wood:  Urban Timberworks

Photography: Grace Espiritu Photography



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