This month in its newly opened Center For Architecture in the Pearl District (NW 11th & Hoyt), AIA/Portland is hosting an exhibit of local houses featured in the new coffee table book published by Panache Partners: Dream Homes Pacific Northwest: An Exclusive Showcase of the Finest Architects, Designers & Builders in Oregon & Washington. (Try and say that three times fast!)
Among the local architects and firms whose work is featured in the book are: Giulietti/Schouten Architects; Robertson, Merryman, Barnes Architects; Richard Brown Architects (their house is pictured below); Dowd Architecture; Vallaster & Corl Architects; Jeff Miller; Colab Architecture & Design; Chesshir Architecture; and Hans Kretchmer/Green Gables Design.
You can already count my thoughts on this as subjective, because the AIA is a sponsor of this site. But I also had the chance to get to know some of these designers during my time working at the AIA (which concluded seven years ago last month), particularly through a committee I was a liaison to called the Small Firm Roundtable.
More often than not, of course, the men and women designing single family homes are represented by smaller firms, and that's the case here. These are largely firms that won't ever get a huge condo or office commission, instead keeping a lower profile but creating some very substantial houses. (An exception would be some of the larger-scale work that Colab, RMB, Vallaster & Corl and to a lesser extent Richard Brown have done.)
The houses in the Dream Homes book encompass a lot of different styles, much of it historic stuff but also some modernity as well. I'm particularly fond of Giulietti/Schouten's Walnut House, which I wrote about separately a few months ago, but there's a more traditional looking one by Mike Dowd that I also like.
As a showcase of the "finest architects", as the book calls it, I can think of a few very top Portland architects and firms and individual projects who do single family homes that weren't included: Rick Potestio, Paul McKean, Waterleaf, even Terra Forma where my pal Nathan works. Brad Cloepfil also has two houses under construction that would be ideal for a next edition. But people like Brad and even to a lesser extent Rick get a decent amount of press publicity. I like the idea of people like Mike Dowd, Richard Brown, Stan Chesshir, Dave Giulietti (his NY Mets fandom not withstanding) and the RMB trio getting some attention as well.
The exhibit, called not "Dream Homes" but "Cross Section of 9", will be on display through February 29, when the houses leap back into their binding.