At the toe of Mt. Pisgah and overlooking the Middle Fork of the Willamette River rests a stunning building site with glorious long views over a flood plain to the west and a large picturesque cutting/truck garden to the south. On this site sat a mess of a house – poorly organized and made worse with clumsy additions and remodels. The owners recognized the weakness of the old two-story house but appreciated the magnificence of the site and employed me to repair the mismatch.
The design started with relocating the kitchen and dining from the north to the south edge and reinforcing this with generous doors opening to the garden. Outside of these doors is a stone terrace and grilling area with sweeping steps to the garden and views to the flood plain. Defining the interior northern edge of the kitchen/dining area is a new masonry wood stove that warms the entire house in cold weather and is accompanied by a sitting place for reading and socializing with those working in the kitchen.
Interior circulation in the old house was awkward and compromised privacy. There were two stairwells in the original building, and neither survived in the remodel. One was eliminated, and the other was reconfigured and shifted southward, creating simple, central circulation to serve all rooms while reinforcing zones.
As with any rural project, site planning was a key to success. Existing elements that fundamentally functioned were strengthened, and missing components were added. The entry was clarified, and a transitional entry court created. Back door connections to a new mud room/laundry were added. And the connection to the garden from the main public areas of the house was developed with a large stone terrace and covered grilling area.