Portland, Oregon, USA
The Heartwood Residence by William Kaven Architecture is a contemporary structure fronted in glass and framed in cedar wood, board-formed concrete, and aluminum, sitting on the east bank of the Willamette River in Portland’s Oak Grove neighborhood.
In addition to offering a sweeping panorama of the river and its wildlife, the home overlooks boat docks, freight barges, and an early 20th-century railroad bridge, recalling the city’s industrial roots.
The Heartwood Residence has recently been awarded a 2022 American Architecture Award Honorable Mention and a 2022 International Architecture Awards Honorable Mention by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The design is oriented around a large maple tree that already existed on the site, allowing the entire home to continuously open up from the river to the courtyard.
The family who commissioned the home expressed a desire for a design that would accommodate extended visits from friends, children, and grandchildren while still offering distinct zones of privacy.
The solution was a design that recalls a scaled-down compound, complete with a detached casita that can accommodate up to two guests.
Upon approach, visitors enter a spacious courtyard, a feature inspired by the architects’ New Mexico origins.
Straight across the courtyard from the entrance, the glazed wall of the main house offers a direct sightline through the living area to the river.
The home’s floor-to-ceiling windows allow the Heartwood courtyard to feel less like an enclosure than a liminal space that furnishes a dramatic reveal of the breathtaking views to the west.
The home’s interior design showcases the owners’ substantial collection of Modern American and Italian furniture.
The understated but sophisticated material palette includes rift-sawn white oak cabinetry, Corian countertops, exposed aggregate concrete floors, built-in fireplaces, chevron-patterned oak floors, and plaster walls.
With an exterior constructed of cedar, aluminum, and board-formed concrete, the Heartwood home is a modern addition to the neighborhood, which consists primarily of the 60s- and 70s-era ranch-style homes.
The back patio includes an outdoor living area organized around a large wood-burning fireplace with a backdrop that includes the Lake Oswego River Bridge and one of the city’s premier riverfront parks.
Project: Heartwood Residence
Architects: William Kaven Architecture
Photographers: Jeremy Bittermann / JBSA