This home’s location, atop the Eola hills near Salem, Oregon, boasts views of gorgeous mountains and the city of Salem to the east, and rolling hills and wine country to the west. When low clouds descend over the valley in the morning, the house appears to be on top of the world.
The client’s tapped Ueda Design Studio to create a comfortable home for their family (a couple with two young children and two German Shepherds). And It should take advantage of the site’s spectacular views, which serve as refuge from work life. All in all, the house needed to find a balance in bringing a sense of retreat with functionality and durability.
The home’s design takes inspiration from Japan, emphasizing relationships between inside and outside, and framed views. Spaces shift from cozy intimacy to large open rooms.
In fact, the mile-long winding driveway to the house offers fleeting views to mountains, hills, and the house emerging at each turn. The sequence conjures the qualities of an approach to a traditional Japanese tea house.
The focal point for the 8,000-square-foot home is the combined living, dining and kitchen. And then the dining area is topped with a 26-foot-high ceiling and window walls on three sides.
This open living design is the perfect combination of spaces in which to enjoy country life with their young family and friends.
The suspended, open-tread stair leads to the bedrooms on the upper level. Its origami-like stringer folded from a single piece of steel provides elegant structural stability.
Solid wood treads cantilever off the stringer and bring warmth to the design.
In addition, vertical steel rods act as the primary structure for the stair and animate the space through their shadows.
As a result, the minimal structure allows for unobstructed views out to the landscape, drawing nature and light into the space.
Sustainability was a driving force for the design of this project. The goal was to create a high-performance, energy-efficient building which can last for the next 100 years. Outside, the material palette relies on simple and timeless materials such as cedar siding, fiber cement board, concrete, and steel. These are materials requiring little to no maintenance.
The house is wrapped with continuous exterior insulation and rain screen system with metal roofing on top. High performance aluminum windows and doors. A state-of-the-art HVAC system includes high-efficiency heat pumps and a hydraulic radiant heat system. Awning windows atop the dining window wall open to cool down the space minimizing the need for air conditioning. And automatic exterior sunshades reduce solar heat gain from the strong summer sun.
Architecture and interior design: Nahoko Ueda, Ueda Design Studio
Structural Engineering: Bykonen Carter Quinn
Builder: Cellar Ridge Construction
Landscape: Groundworkshop, GT Landscape Solutions Photography: Kevin Scott