Benjamin Waechter: 2871 NW Cornell Road


2871 NW Cornell Road | Portland | 97210
Architecture: Benjamin Waechter, Architect
Photography by: Lara Swimmer

Built 2013, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2400 square feet

Steep topography and limited street frontage were the main challenges faced when siting this 2,400 square foot house in the west hills of Portland, Oregon.

To minimize both foundation costs and impact to the steep slope, it was decided to build up rather than out. With a small footprint (600 square feet), the house rises out of the ground 4 stories in a single volume. The house was placed downhill from the access road to gain the best views and to accommodate the limited street frontage. A 25 foot long steel pedestrian bridge connects the access road to the 3rd story of the house.

The Tower House is conceived as one primary room per floor with support spaces incorporated into the building perimeter. This thickened edge is carved and articulated to create dramatic framed views of the landscape. At each floor level a loggia breaks this thickened edge blurring the line between inside and out.

The wood framed house is supported by a concrete foundation on micro-piles. The exterior is clad in corrugated metal with radius corners to eliminate the need for corner trim. Railings and bridge are powder-coated steel. The primary rooms are finished with oil rubbed quarter sawn white oak.

Wall hung paintings by Anya Spielman
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