As designers and craftspeople we deeply believe in skillful construction details that look effortless. Hallmarks of our style include crisp edges, smooth walls, modern woodworking, minimalist LED lighting and the idea that a successful project should exude an understated beauty.
Case Study: Sinclair House
As a single family home in Portland’s Council Crest neighborhood, the Sinclair House stands ahead of its time, with a flat roof, vertical cedar siding, dramatic overhangs and cantilevered rooms. Ever aware of environmental context, Bailey sited the house at the exact angle necessary to capture overwhelming panoramas of Mt. Hood.
The challenge of the Sinclair house lay in seeking compelling ways to preserve as well as extend the original modern form. The team overhauled every surface & system, adding over 1000 SF to the mid-century structure and carefully reimagining the house for contemporary use.
During the renovation, the supporting walls for the spiral staircase in the main level were removed and the staircase structure was hung to the joists of the second story, allowing the plaster spiral to twist and rise all the way up from the lower level, through the kitchen, and into the second story.
Bookmatched walnut casework that fills the house. The storage is simple and symmetrical, the vanities float above the bathroom floors, and the kitchen peninsula utilizes a waterfall to move the gaze across the room. In the lower level, a bold 3-sided peninsula fireplace doubles as a room divider that screens the stepped-down media room. The master bathroom shower, newly carved out of an exterior closet, is oriented to frame Mt. Hood and feels like it has always been part of the house. Other details are more subtle.
Tapered mullions were copied by carpenters to preserve the character of the windows. A new hydronic radiant system replaced baseboard heaters from another decade. An new audio system swells the house with sound. In a nod to contemporary NW vernacular the fireplace is now surrounded by a black steel frame and an exposed half-inch thick steel plate resting flush in the floor takes the place of a hearth. A George Nelson Bubble Lamp hangs above the dining table.
On the exterior, a subtle new retaining wall etches a dynamic line as it steps up the hillside, echoing the shape of where the chimney meets the upper deck. The retaining wall also creates vital new yard space screens large Ipe decks from the road. The lower decks are surrounded by horizontal steel railings, powder-coated black, while the upper deck is encased in glass. Tall Karl Foerster grasses are placed against the concrete for further privacy and to emphasize the natural setting.
Complete Renovation + New Addition
“Restore Oregon 2016 Van Evera Bailey Modern Homes Tour”
Architect: In Situ Architecture
The program was to restore and redefine the Sinclair House, a small but iconic view residence designed in 1941 by Van Evera Bailey, a contemporary of John Yeon and Pietro Belluschi.
Case Study: Fairmount
In this foundation-to-finish renovation we retained this hilltop home's historic facade with its telltale gambrel arch and roof lines but open the arched front door and you'll see a contemporary interior and natural materials more familiar to Northwest modernism.
Our design removed walls to open up room layouts, eliminated dead-ends and unblockeded views to the outside. Throughout the house are traditional red oak flooring and smooth, white walls. Other features include rift-sawn white oak, handmade Heath Ceramics tile and blackened steel.
Although the footprint of the house has stayed the same, 1,300 square feet of living space was added, including a new master suite and guest suite, and the converted basement is now a great room. A large Ipe deck extends the entertainment area outdoors.
We were guided by the style of the original structure, but still found room for eye-catching new features. The master bathroom cantilevers beyond the main level's exterior walls and appears to be floating in a forest in the back of the house. This design trick delivers dramatic views from the freestanding tub and shower. Floating oak stairs with black steel railing link the three levels.
Behind the scenes, the original foundation was tied to the hillside with two systems of steel piles. Inside, all the electrical, plumbing and windows were replaced. Dual heating/AC furnaces, LED lighting and other energy-efficient upgrades were added to improve the home's performance. While the new windows seen from the street are the traditional divided light, the rear of the house is filled with picture windows that grant privacy while framing views of the valley and forest. This residence has been rebuilt to last at least another 100 years.
Complete Renovation + New Addition
Featured in: The Oregonian