McKenzie View Residence
This is a new home for a new family on an old parcel mere feet from the small house where one owner grew up. Designed for a growing family with twins on the way, we began assessing land use and siting in December 2017 and moved steadily through many iterations, ultimately receiving land use approval without a hitch, breaking ground late in 2019 and the family moving in mid-way through a pandemic late in 2021.
The south-facing side features skylights, PV panels, and a clerestory: daylighting is a key feature to combat the Willamette Valley's dull winter days.
The intimate loft spaces at the clerestory give way to larger vaulted spaces below, with daylight shared across each.
A concrete plinth with daylit basement elevates the house above the floodplain and steel posts support the porches, while small timber serves as the primary structural frame for the house, between which windows and doors were inserted.
There are both expansive common areas and intimate private areas inside, purpose-built for each member of the family.
Landscape integration was started through a series siting maneuvers, and material changes, as well as with a sunroom off the south porch that doubles as a screen porch in summer.
During construction, the timber grew out of an elevated foundation near the banks of the McKenzie River.
The timber framing module is 3.2', a doubling of the black diamond module that splits an 8' increment into five equal units. This allows for windows and doors to be placed between posts, and for smaller timber framing sizes throughout.
Craftsmanship was central to the concept and was considered in both the engineering and execution.
The "basement" (technically "lower floor storage" here per land use regulation) is a bonus due to the need to elevate the house.
On the main level and loft, the many vistas and cozy arrangement of spaces create dreamy places to connect with natural surroundings.
After the primary timber structure, the decking was installed. We had this decking--that is also the predominant interior wall finish--stained white, so it still feels like wood in texture. The white decking infuses the home with light, and highlights the timber framing through contrast.
Christopher Alexander discussed how "People no longer have a chance to make [houses] personal and individual. A personal house tells us about the people who live there " (197 Thick Walls). This in fact is a most personal of houses where both parents were able to think about how they want to live, to raise kids, the amount of light they require inside, the playfulness of the spaces, materiality, degrees of privacy, and relationship to work, family, the greater landscape and future gardens, through a very natural, comprehensive, and collaborative design process.
After the primary structure was up and the decking installed, work moved to the furring layers outside, which were then insulated with mineral wool before being sheathed.
And once the walls were sheathed, the porches could be built, and the roof could be insulated, all with little-to-no thermal bridging.
After the roofing was on the porches were built
The decking system consists of a steel superstructure with wood planks
And then the windows and doors were installed, with a galvanized metal flashing system
Some of the windows and doors were made in Eugene, and some in Seattle - facilitating coordination with both shops
Many of the craftsemen who worked on the project in conjunction with design ideas and the owners' desires collaborated on unique solutions