Wedged into a hillside on the Oregon coast, this zinc- and concrete-clad house should last nearly as long as the cliff it hugs. It’s a “forever house,” designed by Chadbourne + Doss Architects as the principal residence for a retiring couple and visiting family. The shape and siting derive from highly restrictive site setbacks and height constraints, combined with the neighborly obligation to preserve this prominent location for all to enjoy.
Most of the house bows below the grade of the road. Cars park on the roof and in the box-like garage—the building’s only protruding volume. The structure of the main floor hides beneath a planted roof, segueing into the windswept natural landscape. “The mass needed to be long, but we wanted the building to hunker down,” says Lisa Chadbourne.
The main floor is largely one big room open to the view, with outdoor space carved into the building at the center and at one end. Cedar soffits extend beyond the window walls to provide weather protection and a measure of shade, but motorized shades will do the heavy lifting on sun control. An 18 kW solar array will provide most of the power, supporting radiant heating and a ductless system for cooling. Also tucked into the main floor are three bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, and a music room. A home theater and extra storage space bunker beneath the garage.
Long, low, and lean, the forever house will “disappear into the fog and clouds,” says Lisa
Oregon Coast House
Architect: Chadbourne + Doss Architects, Seattle and Astoria, Oregon
Builder: Buckingham Resources, Ltd., Beaverton, Oregon
Project size: 4,915 square feet
Site size: .5 acre
Renderings: Chadbourne + Doss Architects