The North House was developed in 2007 as a three-unit, multi-family project in North Portland. The project was recognized by the City of Portland’s planners as being one of the most ecologically advanced projects of its kind when it was completed. In addition to the increased residential capacity for the small site, the project is cooled solely by stack ventilation through open stairwells, and heated by trombé walls and hydronic radiant heat. The design additionally features on-demand hot water, on-site disposal of rainwater, pervious asphalt parking along the alley, and extensive use of recycled structural and finish materials - all of the exposed structural members in the ceiling are re-graded timber that was deconstructed from another local project.
To facilitate the increased density for the site, the front entrances were turned away from the street. A private walkway flanked by lush foliage provides a path for the entrances and a small patio for each unit along the opposite side spills out of the dining space. Each unit contains two bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms over approximately 1,500 sf and is designed as two small suites to enable comfortable space for roommates to live together. The roof contains large private terraces that can be used as sleeping porches.
In addition to driving the development and executing the architectural design, William/Kaven designed the landscape features and site elements.