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House on 36th

House on 36th

Beebe Skidmore Architects
Portland, Oregon, United States | View Map
Project Year
Private Houses
Jeremy Bittermann

House on 36th

Beebe Skidmore Architects as Architects

“House on 36th” rewrites an existing one-story 1945 cottage in Portland, Oregon. The project strategically salvages, edits, and then envelops the existing foundation and framing, cantilevering forward toward the street and extending back into the yard. The result is an interconnected two- story interior that is both voluminous and compact.

The site is located in an established neighborhood of detached, single-family houses, most of which occupy the city’s standard 50 x 100 foot lot (15.25m x 30.5m). The surrounding houses are generally two-story, wood-framed structures, in eclectic post-WWII era styles clad in painted wood siding and trim.

The program meets the needs of a young family relocating to Portland from New York, seeking a walkable neighborhood, an extensive yard, an efficient floor plan, and an easy flow between inside and out. They asked for simple, compact rooms, a clean gallery-like feeling with minimal space for storage. They also desired a high degree of interior connectivity between spaces, both visual and acoustic, and an open kitchen.

The project transforms an ordinary house into a comfortable contemporary house that is welcomed into the neighborhood and suitable for a family that spends much of the day at home. The livable area of the existing house is substantially increased without excessively encroaching into the oversized backyard or adding bulk to the massing that would seem out of scale relative to neighboring houses.

The sculptural form of the house riffs on the traditional North American garrison, or second-story overhang saltbox, cantilevering the second floor 8 feet (2.4m ) out of plane from the existing facade. This design move, executed by bolting laminated veneer lumber beams to the outside of the existing house, forms a deep, weather-protected entry stoop, and provides a buffered location for floor-to-ceiling glass on the first floor, and cozy reading nooks perched above. Symmetrical, wall- eyed dormers with big picture windows upend the centralized compositions that usually result from zoning regulations for single family houses sited on standard 50 foot (15.25m ) wide lots.


Material Used:
1. Facade cladding: Semi-transparent stain on knotty cedar vertical channel siding
2. Flooring: Kahrs engineered planks, white oak with whitewash finish
3. Windows: Pella Series 850 Architect Contemporary
4. Roofing: Composite asphalt 3-tab shingles
5. Interior lighting: Lambert & Fils Dot Line Suspension,
WAC Lighting, Oculux 3.5” Dim-to-Warm

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Project Credits
Product Spec Sheet

Interior lightingLambert & Fils
Interior lightingWAC Lighting
Product Spec Sheet
Interior lighting
Dot Line Suspension by Lambert & Fils
Pella Series 850
Pella Series 850 by PELLA CORPORATION
by Kährs
Interior lighting
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