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Portland, Oregon - 2004

The Wilkinson House by Robert Oshatz, completed in 2004, is an example of modern architecture at peace with its site. The house occupies a wooded Pacific Northwest site, with a fast sloping grade that allows the main level of the house to sit amongst the tree canopy. Walls made of glass let abundant natural lighting through into the interior spaces and provide views to the surrounding canopy. The openness created by the glass walls satisfying the resident’s desire to see and hear the surrounding bird life and let the home feel like a part of the surrounding landscape.

The house has a spacious, open plan, with a variety of built in furnishings, countertops, and cabinets. The main living space consists of a single open space that includes a sitting area, kitchen and dining area, and a fireplace nook. The space then opens out onto a large deck that cantilevers out amongst the trees. The house has a total of 393 square meters of floor space, 234 square meters of which are on the main floor, and 159 square meters on the lower level; which consist of three full bedrooms and two and a half baths.

Natural materials provide a variety of colors and textures to create a warm interior environment. Materials used include cedar shingles, wood trim, gypsum board, carpet, slate tile, granite tile, and copper. The space of the house seems to flow effortlessly between inside and out by continuing the materials of the interior through the glass walls and out to the exterior. Curves add tranquility to the home; a series of curved, glue laminated beams support the high ceiling overhead, cedar shingles describe a series of organic curves, and a glass enclosed meditation room adjacent to the main space is a circle in section.

Oshatz left no detail untouched; he provided for natural ventilation, and environmentally friendly gas-fired hot water radiant floor heating. As the resident is a lover of music, Oshatz carefully controlled the acoustics of the interior space, and designed the volumes of the house to resonate with the flow of music.

The exterior of the house consists of a series of horizontal layers featuring copper, cedar shingles, and a copper metal roof. The entrance walkway passes through a small Japanese garden.