Work is drawing to a close at the Alphabet Condo, which we posted about early last month. Since then, tile and countertops have been installed, which complement the existing architecture of the space very nicely.
DRW ARCHITECTURE BLOG
It's been another busy year for drw design build. A lot has happened since our last summary in 2012:
- Our Cable Hill House was featured in the annual Homes Tour organized by the AIA Portland chapter.
- Our largest project of the year was the Skyline Residence. By February, we were done with framing, and the difference in the quality of the spaces was already apparent. Wood floors were installed in March, and by July fabrication of the architectural metalwork was underway. The before and after shots show the marked change in the quality of the spaces.
- We completed the Fairmount Boulevard kitchen, and documented the journey of the cabinets from a shop in Eugene to installation in Portland.
- Work continued on the Corbett-Terwilliger house. The form of the house took shape early in the year. Over the course of the year, we worked closely with the client, who built all the windows for the house.
- We started work on the Westover Residence kitchen, with the new cabinets delivered in October. We look forward to taking completed photos of the house in the new year.
- We remodeled a guest suite in a beautiful house located on SW Humphrey Blvd.
- We launched a new website, which included previously unseen photos of the McShane Studio.
- We put up new photos of Ryan's old house at 14th Ave, while he continued work on his new house.
- And the highlight of the year: our annual barbecue, which took place in August.
The living room was previously dominated by a stone-clad fireplace, which was high on the priority list of things the owners wanted to change. The first step was to strip the fireplace back to its concrete block structure. Drawing on ideas we first explored at the Cable Hill House, we then built a sheet steel fire surround and hearth extension around it, with a walnut entertainment center above it. This contains the audio/visual control boxes, and a sliding panel allows the tv to be hidden when not in use. By removing the dropped ceiling, we were able to gain another 15" of ceiling height. The carpet was replaced by new hickory floors, which run throughout the first floor of the house.
KitchenThe kitchen remains in the same location in the house, but with a much more efficient layout and contemporary style. The cabinets were custom made by Crownwood Construction, with exposed birch plywood frames and walnut panels. The island and main kitchen counter have a carrara marble countertop, which is nicely complemented by matte-white subway tiles at the backsplash.
We added a new bar where a redundant second fire place previously existed. The bar employs the same language of walnut and plywood cabinets, with some tougher materials for durability. The countertops are a grey quartz from Cosmos, and the backsplashes and bar-front are made of the same sheet steel we used at the fireplace in the living room. We made a break from the hickory floors used throughout the rest of the first floor, and changed to tile, to make an appropriate transition to the pool immediately outside.
Hall & stair
The hall was previously an unpleasant space, which felt dark and narrow. Without changing the width of the hall, we able to create a much more inviting atmosphere. New openings along the wall dividing the hall from the public rooms increased the amount of natural lighting getting into the hall, which is supplemented by new can lighting. In the stair, we expanded on the approach we first employed at the Walsh residence by building a fir screen to filter the light coming into the space. We demolished the partial height wall which was acting as a guardrail, and replaced it with a steel stair rail, which creates a stronger visual relationship between the two levels. The previously utilitarian stairwell is now one of our favorite moments in the house.
To avoid making major changes to plumbing and electrical system, we kept the existing layouts of the guest bathroom bathrooms, while making major changes to the finishes. We continued the use of the walnut and plywood cabinets, but drew a visual distinction from the kitchen and bar areas by having the vanities float 12" off the floor, with tile running underneath them all the way to the wall.
The layout of the bedrooms on the second floor generally worked well, so we only made minor alterations, primarily to create more closet space for the master suite. We installed new fir trim around the windows and ceiling beams, smoothed out and painted the walls, and installed new carpet throughout the second floor.
We're delighted to have recently completed a small remodel of a guest suite in a house located on Portland's SW Humphrey Boulevard. Designed in 1932 by architect Roscoe Hemenway, the house is one of Portland's classic residences. The guest suite is on the second floor, at the end of what was originally as a service wing, with its own entrance from an exterior staircase. Prior to our work, the space had been used as a live-at-home care suite and had quite an institutional feel to it. Our clients approached us with the task of turning it into a guest suite, while retaining what we could of the existing building fabric. We began by dividing the existing "L" shaped space into two rooms, separated by a pair of glass pocket doors. The larger of the two rooms will be kept as a bedroom, while the smaller becomes a more intimate sitting room with a new wood burning stove and a dutch door onto the exterior stair. We removed the carpet in both spaces and refinished the existing fir floor that lay underneath. We placed a new pocket door between the bathroom and sitting room, which required building out a new wall adjacent to the existing wall to avoid disturbing the plumbing stacks. In the bathroom we added a new sink, toilet, bathtub and shower head, while keeping the existing tile in place.
We would like to thank our clients for giving us the opportunity to work on such a beautiful house, and hope that our work make it even more liveable as a home.