Private Retreat

Contractor: Steve Moskowitz, Greenswell Builders

Structural Engineers: ABHT, Portland,OR


In the early part of 2007 I was contacted to revisit a very unique project that had been left dormant for six years due to enthusiastic dreams meeting budgetary realities.

"We're doing it again- only this time really pared down! Are you IN?" the client asked.

Damn right I’m in!

We chopped excessive program and boiled it down to basic desires for the gorgeous site in West Linn, OR. Situated in a clearing below towering douglas fir, the retreat was to simply (and whimsically) act as a private science and art center for a talented family of varied interests. Initial iterations met the requirements for basic proximities of use and functionality with a keen eye to affordability and green building concepts.

Just when a schematic design was to be approved- a phone conversation revealed that while the animal had legs, a tail and horns- it had no bellow, no buck! The roof deck wasn't high enough and the patio was too cloistered. It needed to loosen up/ lift-off. As we verbally stretched, tucked and lofted the schematic, I sketched out a diagram of the desired form. This is what you see above. And that is what will be completed in the spring of 2009.


project stroll