Portland Courtyard Community

This development of five houses, built on a 100′ x 100′ lot, is designed to engender community. Houses 1 and 2 address the street in a typically Portland way – porches, yards and interaction between inside and outside.

The architecture is open and inviting. The five 1,600 square foot houses are similar, but not identical, and laid out around a casual square. Each home has three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms.

Four of the houses are linked through their carports, while the fifth house is free-standing. Each house has a front porch  and a roof terrace, giving ample opportunities for indoor-outdoor living, and all five share a common courtyard. This area, composed of permeable paving and green, landscaped yards, maximizes social interaction for children and adults alike.

p02b 01

Courtyard entrance.

The view above, from  the second floor of House 1, gives a sense of the community space.

The floor plans for House 5 (above) are similar to the others in layout; with an open first floor, space-efficient bedrooms on the second level, and a flexible fun third level.

The living room of House 5 and its front porch, accessible through a large, sliding glass door, create an interaction space for the family and the community.

The open ground floor keeps the family in touch.

House 5’s intermediate stair landings project into the courtyard, and bring light into its core.

On the third level of each house, a play room and roof terrace give ample opportunities for your family to do what they enjoy most. Covered outdoor space keeps your options open in Portland’s ever-changing climate

ip06b 01

The living space of House 2 faces the neighborhood.

ip07a 01

House 2’s kitchen includes the family dining table.

This community design  balances the benefits of shared living with the retained identity of an individual home.

All designs, drawings and renderings in this posting were created by me. While this specific layout is intended for two 50′ x 100′  lots, joined to make a 100′ x 100′ lot, I’m sure it could be even better tailored to your specific property.

Portland Garden House

01-p01a

Like many US cities, substantial portions of Portland, Oregon are laid out on a rectilinear grid. One of the most common lot sizes in the gridded part of town is 50 feet wide by 100 feet deep. This house is tailored to one of these lots, with massing and features that relate it to its neighbors.

02-ip02

Entering the garden house, you get a strong sense of space and light. The home’s vertical circulation presents itself at the front door, but doesn’t invite immediate ascent. While the living room is the first space you notice, dining and kitchen are hinted at.

03-ip01

Crossing into the living room, the home’s layers become apparent. The open studio loft hovers above, framing the dining and kitchen, with a view to the back garden. Skylight floods over the stair, filling the space with a healthy glow.

3d-house.skp

In the Garden House’s building section, the overall spatial scheme is made clear – the lower two floors are mostly open, and a third level contains bedrooms and a roof terrace. Views through the house are emphasized, from north to south and east to west.

05-Garden-plans

In plan, the home’s harmonious organization becomes clear. Living space is graduated from public to private; both front to back, and top to bottom. The home’s three gardens are seen here – the social garden at the front of the house, a more private family garden off the kitchen, and a sun-seeking sky garden on the third level.

06-ip06d

The kitchen, which stretches across the back of the first floor, is open to both internal and external living spaces.

07-ip03

The dining and living areas are fully visible from the kitchen, but a partial height, enclosing wall shields kitchen mess from the living spaces.

08-ip08

The stair from the first to the second level gives more than vertical transit – it’s an alternate way to experience the space and views. The landing makes a great vantage point, and would be fun during a party.

09-ip07a

The second level has a studio open to living below, and the master bedroom suite adjacent. A sliding door panel offers privacy or wide-open access.

10-ip04a

From the studio, the skylit double height space reveals wide open views of the social garden and the neighbors’ houses beyond.

11-ax01b

An axonometric view shows off the house’s sky garden and skylight to the living room. While the home’s clean modern composition contrasts with the neighbor’s more traditional pitched roofs and double-hung windows, its massing is similar, along with its front porch.

12-p02

I adapted the Garden House’s design from a housing prototype designed by French/Swiss architect Le Corbusier in the 1920’s. Its 2,400 square feet are organized in a simple, modular way, keeping the house open to future needs and desires. I created all the drawings and renderings in this post.