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Selected Projects
SE Taylor drawing
SE Taylor:  This under- construction house (completion date of June 2010) is proof that you can get a new house with more features and higher performance than existing houses in the neighborhood--and for substantially less money.  This being a custom design for a first-time homebuyer, total cost was a critical consideration.  Yet the value is outstanding:  Three bedrooms, 2 baths plus a Piano Studio.  Hardwood floors throughout both levels.  Large decks on two levels open to views of the park across the street.  Vaulted ceilings in the master bedroom and clerestory windows add drama.  All the bedrooms are oriented to maximize view opportunities and access to light.  A tuck-under garage and full basement provide great functionality and expansion space.  A criterion for the basement was that it provide ample room for a game of pool around a full-size table.


Project 0180 NE 23rd Portland project

NE 23rd: Completed at the end of 2009 and listed just before Christmas, this house recalls the neighborliness of an earlier, gentler time.  A wide, wrap-around porch conveys gracious living in this house and belies the narrow, 36 foot lot.  Inside, the space is flooded with light.  Large windows strategically placed to maximize the sense of openness and light also frame carefully selected views out over the leafy neighborhood. The house received a full price offer shortly after listing.

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NE 10th NE 10th

NE 10th: In the face of the greatest downturn in building construction since the Great Depression, this 1789 square foot house was built on spec in 2009 and sold in just a few days after listing.  Designed in November, 2008, permits were submitted in December and pulled in February, 2009; construction was competed in May 2009; the house was listed on the Friday before Memorial Day and an offer was accepted early the next week.  The house (as is typical of houses designed by Ken) exceeds energy codes and meets Energy Star Qualifications and Earth Advantage Certification.  These features were key selling points as well as the distinctive design.  People seeing the house really liked the sense of light and openness and felt that the house was more than 2000 square feet in size.

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Energy Star home SE home

SE Portland: A 3-bedroom 2 1/2 bath with home office, this spec house sold within a week of listing at more than original appraisal. The Energy Star home offers a traditional feel on the outside combined with contemporary, crisp, light-drenched spaces inside. Although built on a narrow urban lot, the home offers a dramatic expansion of space inside with vaulted ceilings, exposed glu-lam beams and clerestory windows for dynamic spacial effects and play of light. Careful attention to massing, including small cantilevers at floor lines and the bay at front and side, as well as angled barge boards, add visual interest. Vertical format windows relate to traditional neighborhood context and also complement the contemporary interior. Design, performance and value combined in a winning package that easily overcame the strongest headwinds in housing markets in a lifetime.

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Jarrett Jarrett home

Jarrett: Making the most of a small (40 by 50 feet) site, this 1754 square foot 3 bedroom/3 bath house with garage enjoys an expansive deck facing the large park with mature firs across the street.  Spaces are expansive and filled with natural light.  Despite a down market, this spec house in NE Portland received multiple above-price offers in two days after listing in May, 2008.  From initial design sketches to closing of sale this project took only seven months.  Builder is Ethan Beck Homes.

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Going residence Going Street residence

Going Street.  Offering everything needed to call it home, this very charming design is also efficient, offering three bedrooms, two and one-half baths and an attached garage, all within 1670 square feet.  The Master Bedroom is large, has a private, south-facing balcony, an additional roomy walk-in dressing room, and yet  an additional large walk-in closet!  This house is 24 feet wide, but a very similar design has been built at 22 feet wide and can fit a lot as narrow as 32 feet.  It also can be adapted to a rowhouse plan and be built on a 22 foot lot.

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Piedmont project Piedmont project

Piedmont Bungalow-Duplex.  Two houses built side-by-side maintain the proportions and charm of a classic bungalow.  Each half is eighteen feet wide, but feels expansive inside.  The kitchen and living areas span the entire width of each house.  The stair opens up to a lofty vaulted upstairs hall lit by a large skylight.  Excellent views of downtown are obtained from the upstairs rooms.  The houses each offer three bedrooms, a large study, two and one-half baths.  Also, a full basement with very large, sun-drenched windows offers expansion space and is plumbed for a future bath.

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7th and Tillamook: In an area zoned for apartments, a worthy older house (not shown) was restored rather than demolished, and four new rowhouses were built in the remaining site—a space of land only 60 by 65 feet in size. This is an example of how older buildings can be preserved while increasing density, and how very dense sites may nonetheless achieve a high design standard and be very attractive and liveable. The total value of the project when completed was more than six times the before-construction value.

Rand road Rand Road: One mile from downtown Hood River, Rand Road Village is phased development of 30 houses framing a park square. The design combines chic modern lines and glazing with traditional materials to integrate with the surrounding neighborhood. All the houses feature at least 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths, decks at multiple levels capturing views of the Columbia River and Mt. Adams, and attached garages to support modern lifestyles–all this on lots typically 34 feet by 75 feet, and at extremely competitive pricing!

cunard rendering
Cunard: A difficult and dramatically sloped small lot in Hood River nevertheless offers spectacular views of the Columbia River and of Mt. Adams on the Washington side. With heavy timber beams, soaring ceiling vaults, clerestory windows and expansive decks, this house makes the most of the site and the views while still presenting a cozy front to the street. Project awaiting funding. Shown is a rear perspective rendering.
Greenlake Greenlake: A little post-war house, about 1100 square feet on the main floor with a finished attic above with an unsafe steep stair, nearly doubles in size to 2000 feet and gets a lovely porch for hanging out on lazy summer afternoons. In addition, there is a cozy balcony accessed by french doors from the Master Bedroom for french press coffee in the morning and a copy of the New York Times. The clients wanted a substantial addition of area without becoming too big for the neighborhood of small houses. The roof lines are worked masterfully to effect a cozy look that belies the actual size of the house.
Morrison house

Santa Lucia Apartments (SE Morrison): A top-to-bottom Design/Build remodel, upgrade and restoration of a faded 8-unit apartment building. Much of the interior was gutted to the studs.  The interiors were substantially reconfigured, the basement dug out and new units heated with radiant slab were constructed. The entire building was rewired, re-plumbed and insulated. The exterior was substantially upgraded and  the facade dressed up with eave brackets, window boxes and an entry trellis. The total number of units remained unchanged, but the units on the main level more than doubled in size to 1280 sf. Net rentable area from expanded from 5700 sf to 7200 sf. Gross rental income was more than doubled while maintenance and operating costs were reduced.   From beginning of design to completion the project took less than a year.


NE Thompson: A dramatic transformation of a derelict Victorian house into a triplex with a fourth cottage unit. The formerly one-story house was lifted, and two new floors were inserted below. The value of the property was increased by a factor of five.


Taylor house

SE Taylor: An extensive Design/Build restoration, upgrade and expansion of a decayed 4-unit apartment building which nearly doubled the net rentable area. Gross rental income was increased over 200% monthly.



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