Two upcoming homes tours should give design enthusiasts and aspiring home owners/builders plenty of good ideas about the way to build sustainably and with cost-effective quality.
First comes the "Build It Green!" home tour on Saturday, September 25. (I don't need to put the name in quotation marks, but I don't know how else to deal with the exclamation point.) The self-guided tour features 21 different homes. Tickets can be purchased online, but if they're ordered after this Friday, September 17, they will have to be picked up at Ecohaus (819 SE Taylor). Cost is $15 for adults or $10 students, senior citizens or those going car-free. Tickets are free to children under 14. For more information call 503-222-3881.
Here are some of the homes on the Build It Green (!) tour:
The Curtis Creative Small Infill project, owned by Morgan and Connie Curtis, is (as the tour describes) "an open home for joining creative people who share a common interest in making music and art." Features include natural ventilation, daylighting, and salvaged barnwood floors. Design is by Departure Design and the contractor is Hammer & Hand (which, in full disclosure, is a Portland Architecture sponsor).
Another house of interest is the Harpoon House (pictured at the top of this post), a highly-efficient, three-story dwelling on a small 50'x50' lot designed by the owner Matthew Kirkpatrick and his firm, Design for Occupancy. It features three ecoroofs and open indoor/outdoor spaces. Features include FSC-certified wood a cedar exterior rainscreen and Brazilian Koa wood, better known as "tigerwood". The house is also teeming with natural light.
The Doleman Strawbale Dwelling, designed by Communitecture and built by Flying Hammer Productions, is an accessory dwelling unit that's part of the Foster Village co-housing community. It is also Portland's first permitted residential strawbale structure. A compact floorplan features an earthen floor, clay plaster walls, salvaged tile and wood details and has 20" thick walls. The co-housing community has several small dwellings, shared chickens, food garden, a food drying box and a cob oven.
On Saturday, October 9, from 10:00am to 4:00pm comes "Design Matters: A Tour of Portland Homes", part of the Portland Architecture and Design Festival 2010. Tickets are $40 and the tour headquarters is the AIA's Center for Architecture at 403 NW 11th Avenue.
Obviously the cost is a little steeper for the AIA tour, and for the chance to see six homes instead of 21. But these are particularly good projects, four of which I have written blog posts about in the past: the Interchange Residence by William Kaven Architecture, the Tandem Duo duplex by Works Partnership, the Northwood Residence by Emerick Architects (the city's first stand-alone LEED Gold-rated single family house), and the Mt. Tabor Residence by Webster Wilson. Also included are the Gracehaus by Philip H. Sydnor and his firm, Integrate, and the King Residence, a bold historic-home remodel by Giuliette/Schouten.
Gracehaus sits on a narrow six acres of forested property outside downtown Portland. The one-story residence is designed on an East-West axis providing northern exposure and views of the property from every window. The unusual massing is emphasized by the individual roofs, circulation 'knuckles,' and a central hallway connecting the different living spaces and forming a central courtyard at the back of the house. Materials and features include core-ten steel cladding, exposed glulam posts and beams, bamboo and cork flooring, gutterless eaves and a French drain system, wind-fallen and locally harvested timber, and eco-friendly carpets, paint and stain.
For the King residence, a circa-1912 Arts and Crafts style home, the owners appreciated its historic charm but desired more usable space. The design goal of this whole house remodel and addition was to honor and expand on the Arts and Crafts exterior while introducing modern elements and details to the new interior. These can be seen in the salt water fish tank that screens the kitchen and the entry, the organic inspired metal railings and exterior screens and the full-height double sided concrete fireplace separating the living and dining rooms.