Portland Hill House


Portland, Oregon is a city with rich topography. Hills, ridges, valleys and promontories give the city texture and drama, as well as mold its neighborhoods and roadways. Slopes often present challenges – access can be tricky, and foundations are usually more elaborate. Yet the compensations are great; the views alone are worth it.


In Portland, hills have ample greenery – soaring conifers, dense woodlands and lush forest floors. These places can feel like they’re miles out in the country, when they’re often close to the middle of the city. I’ve designed this speculative house for a Portland hillside to embrace the beauty and character of its natural setting.


It’s in two parts: the main house with its vaulted living space, and a garage which includes a storage loft and studio/workshop on its lower level. These two pavilions are connected by a covered walkway at the front, and a generous terrace at the back.

plans 2

The layout of the house is clear and rational. Its form maximizes view and light, and its simple structure recalls sheds and other rural structures.


The main living level is aligned with the garage. Its spaces, including the master suite, are combined in one open volume. A large deck extends this space outdoors, and emphasizes the indoor/outdoor nature of this home.


The living area is oriented away from the street, toward the natural landscape and view. With Portland’s rich stock of firs, cedars & spruces, the view up is just as important as the view out.


The master bedroom is a private sanctuary, intimate and expansive.


The house’s street face is modest and welcoming. While the main house is just shy of 3,000 square feet, it doesn’t present a bulky image. There are three bedrooms, three full bathrooms and a powder room. I’d enjoy finding out how I can make it your home.

All design and images in this posting were created by me. The sculpture shown in the Master Bedroom rendering is called “Flying Without Wings”, and is the work of Jan Watson Flood. Her website: bronzeandcanvas.com