« Oregonian reports Coliseum restoration is cheapest option, Cordish Kansas City district a "tourist trap" that "will not work" here | Main | Architects, friends "All In" to fight cancer »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I'm trying not to be a hater here, but I live around the corner from this house, and I just don't like it. I think it has very poor proportions and composition...I wonder if Brian designed it to look like an ugly Stump, or if he named it that after designing it. I also wonder if Architecture W was involved in the entire process or if perhaps the developer changed some things without their input. Brian, your Dwell article doesn't seem to include Mr White very much...am I reading into that???


i have to say this looks like a wooden box plopped on top of a mobile home... not very inspiration architecture or unique placemaking. it will probably be much uglier in 40 years than the simple ranch house it replaced. also, you might want to re-work the last sentence in the post :)


Ummm...yeah...I actually was in the neighborhood last weekend and happened to drive by...just seems really out of place in the neighborhood...some modern buildings seem to fit a site, others (like this) just seem dumped on the ground...such a hodge-podge of shapes and forms, kinda sad in a neighborhood or (mostly) handsome houses...I bet the neighbors are thrilled. I have to say though...after looking at W's website, it could have be worse, MUCH worse :-) I will say this...they have a really nice, big backyard...so nice.


Not to dip too deeply in the haterade welI, but I live pretty close to this house and remember what it looked like before the remodel. While it is better than the faux craftsman crackerjack boxes built in last couple of years across the street. It doesn't have a good sense of scale with the neighborhood. I do like the look of the rear of the house.


Oh the Humanity! I love the 1940's early 60’s Ranch style of houses but to call The Stump a ranch is not only wrong but in this case an inaccurate moniker. For me, context is everything in an extant neighborhood, especially if it is at least as old as the context for the Stump. It would be more appropriate to call this assembly a “Double Stack Ranch Burger” on a generous backyard bed of lettuce and tomato. Did this Stump even go through the Design Review Commission or even the City’s neighborhood design guidelines? A new awning on a historic commercial even gets many layers of review!
A similar situation occurred in a mature Seattle residential neighborhood last year when Pb Elemental architecture designed and built a white on white stack of box forms that looks like a dental office in a residential neighborhood. The neighbors were up in arms that the project occurred and many threatened to move from the street because the “house” ruined the continuity and look on the block. I for one hope that this does not start a trend in the infill housing market in Portland.


Actually Henri, if there were more discontinuity, we wouldn't get so hung up on a single house not fitting in. I want to call this "typism" or something...like the housing version of racism. If the wrong color moves in next door you scream for the City to help you out. Do yourself a favor and travel a little bit. Go to one of many hundreds of neighborhoods where none of the buildings match the one next door and witness that it has absolutely no bearing on the vibrancy of the neighborhood or how happy people are or how they treat their neighbors or anything else that is important. None of you has to like this house (personally I'm luke warm about it, but I think a better landscape design might help), but spare us the tired and shameful lecture on context. Design Review won't solve your problem. In my neighborhood we have many crappy 60's apartment buildings that I don't personally care for so much, but I'm glad they are there. I wouldn't want to live in some kind of bizarre homogenized vortex like Laurelhurst for the only reason that I find it incredibly boring. I've seen this house a few time when I've turned off of Alberta and think it's interesting...meaning it is memorable at least. I couldn't tell you what any of the other houses around it look like. And I think the energy efficient components are laudable. I don't know Brian White, but I think the work on Architecture W's website is pretty damn interesting. I don't think very many people that comment on this site have any fucking clue how difficult it is to do even marginally decent design. Architects are all crazy for a reason...because it's a damn hard profession with a lot of forces working against you.


It seems that we're only getting half the story here. It would be interesting to see some interior shots (which, judging by their website, AW pulls off consistently well), or a side-by-side comparison of before and after floor plans to see how it was modified. I don't live in the area so can't really say exactly how it sits, but do agree that, judging from the pictures, the massing on the front seems a little awkward. I think it might have something to do with how the vertical cedar of the addition sits above the traditional lap of the existing. I get that they were probably trying to bring a focus to the schism between the two, but wonder if it couldn't have been accomplished in a little less blunt of a manner.


We can talk about proportion and context, design review and dental offices; these are viable subjects.

I prefer to note that this renovation is ham-fisted and weak. Compare it to W's own 'b house', which is very well done.

What happened?


I have always thought folks should just switch homes , so they can look at the one they like [their own]....


not W's best work. heavy handed


Sorry Jonathan...implying that only people inside an industry have the right to judge it's output is preposterous. If that were the case people wouldn't be able to critique movies, food, books, music, newspapers, politicians, etc. Every profession has a myriad of forces working against it, that's life and none of us lives or works in a vacuum. Moreover, there are many people whose work comes under criticism from the public.

brother tim

It's kind of like a hurricane came up the valley and split one house in half and it landed on another - it's kinda cool. It's different, a little bit edgy and just a little bit disarming. I think we'll all survive so don't get too worked up about it. Memo to architects though: hire a landscape architect (ugh).


yes - who did the landscape design? so weak.

Charlie Burr

I ride my bike around there a lot, and think the house makes that part of the neighborhood more interesting. It looks good from a bike. I'm also kind of surprised to read commenters here so quickly discount the home's environmental performance. To me, that alone redeems it.

I do think the combination of the roof's pitch and the vertical siding give it something of a suburban orientation, but the house works regardless.

One thing in response to a previous comment about scale: historically, Alberta had a decent number of smaller neighborhood commercial spaces on corner lots (on sider streets away from the main commercial strips). So, to bemoan the lack of uniformity of scale doesn't really take into account the true history of the neighborhood.


Doesn't look too bad. Not great, but that's o.k. I like houses that try to fit the contour of the land, and to me, this one does. Windows seem kind of small, but maybe there are more, bigger ones on other sides of the house. Looks like the house sure has plenty of upper level outdoor deck space. Top picture: are they on the roof, or is that also a deck they're standing on?

As they mature, the landscape plants will fill out to where not much barkdust will be seen. By then, the landscape will probably improve the look of the place much more than it does now. The choice to use grasses with this house design seems like a good idea...probably those green globe shaped plants too, whatever they are. Placement of the plants might have been improved upon...hard to really tell from the pics. Could add some more species to the mix.

properties philippines

This is a very beautiful home designing in this time and I am very impress to this design.


Philippines Real Estate

Your observation was really very interesting and very informative. Thanks for the information. I learned a lot.
I enjoyed reading it.


Philippines Real Estate

I definitely agree for what you observe,thank so much for this entry i learn some tips. Keep up the good work.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Lead Sponsors


Portland Architecture on Facebook

More writing from Brian Libby


  • StatCounter
Blog powered by Typepad

Paperblogs Network

Google Analytics

  • Google Analytics

Awards & Honors