Anchored by simple architectural forms, and a regional palette, a starkly modern Hood River house redefines the typical Northwest ski cabin without losing its sense of place.
Traveling the scenic 100-mile route east from Portland to Mt. Hood, skiers are treated to majestic vistas ranging from the sweeping Columbia Gorge and a host of craggy Cascade peaks to the orchard-dotted Hood River Valley. Several years ago, the picturesque drive led one client of Scott | Edwards Architecture, a longtime Portlander who made the trek regularly would hold his second home. Taking back roads to the mountain, eyes peeled for potential properties, he discovered a small clearing at the edge of a tree-covered hillside with expansive views of snow-capped Mt. Adams. Staked near the road: a rare for-sale sign.
After purchasing the property in 2015, the client hired Scott | Edwards to create a winter getaway. Rick Berry, principal at Scott | Edwards, remembers his first visit to the site and how wowed he was by its panoramic views. “it just made sense that every room needed a view,” he recalls. “We didn’t want the house be overly ostentatious but instead to really become part of the landscape.”
The resulting 3,500-square-foot, three-bedroom home, completed in 2-17, is a cedar-clad, shoebox-shaped structure nestled into the hill and oriented toward the north to take advantage of both distant mountain views and the sight of the landscape descending into the valley below. The house comprises two glass-enclosed spaces – the main living area and a guest cottage – with am open-air outdoor fireplace hearth situated between them. Clocking in at 150 feet long, a textural board-formed concrete wall anchors the back of the house, with secondary spaces such as the bathroom and utility room tucked out of sight. The living room is walled with the sliding glass doors that can be opened to the make the outdoor hearth an extensions of the space, “The ecosystem in Hood River brings a lost of wind off the Columbia, and a lot of harsh, hot sunlight in the summertime,” Berry says. “We wanted to create an outdoor space that shields you, a space that’s not just a patio but something that’s integral to the house.”
The project’s minimal material palette – consisting mostly of wood, concrete, and glass – strongly informed interior choices, including furnishings and finishes. The cedar used on the exterior walls extends into the interior and complements the walnut cabinetry in the kitchen, where quartzite stone from Caesarstone was used for the countertops and backsplash, crisp pops of white that maintain aesthetic simplicity.
To finish the interiors, Scott | Edwards interior designer Kate Dougherty anchored each seating area in the public spaces with a colorful, geometrically patterned Kush rug. “Since much of the rest of the architecture is almost monochromatic, we chose bolder patterns and colors for the rugs,” she says. Sofas and chairs with leather upholstery add softness, and bold lighting further defines each gathering space.
While designer lights, luxury rugs, and contemporary architecture might buck the close-quartered A-frame ski cabin aesthetic, all one has to do is glance out the home’s windows to be reminded that – like many things in the Northwest – it all comes back to the views.
Title: Best In Snow
Published By: Gray Magazine, Issue No.44 – LUXURY
Author: Brian Libby
Date: February/March 2019