Willamette Valley Residence
Entrant/Architect: Rockefeller Kempel Architects
Builder: Hammer & Hand
Interior Designer: Alana Homesley Interior Design
Photographer: Eric Staudenmaier
Size: 8,231 sf
Hard cost: $4.92 million
Completion: December 2016
This house in Oregon is the second home that Los Angeles–based Rockefeller Kempel Architects (RKA) has designed for these clients. The family loves the indoor-outdoor connection of its L.A. home and wanted to recreate that in their Oregon house, despite “three seasons of wet, damp, penetrating, gnarly cold,” says Christopher Kempel, design principal and partner.
One of the clients is a writer, and she wanted a studio separate from but connected to the house. RKA answered with a glass hall through which she can access the freestanding work space. “We wanted to create the sense that you are walking outside,” Kempel says. “It’s a controlled outdoor experience where you can be safe and warm and dry when it’s raining. It’s really magical.”
Recognizing the challenges of developing the glass spine, RKA hired a builder that specializes in this type of structure. The architect also sourced many of the materials locally; in particular, the home’s Douglas fir timbers are from the area’s logging community. The staircase’s thick plates were milled in a local steel mill and the bluestone was quarried nearby.
The jurors appreciated how the farmhouse design maximizes prevailing breezes and solar exposure. “There was a rigorous level of consistency and historic-modern integration,” they said. “[RKA showed a commitment] to a design aesthetic throughout, and it does this particular aesthetic really well.”
Want more? Click to see the other winners of the 2018 Professional Builder Design Awards.
See more photos of this project below.