The Portlander is a modern interpretation of the rear detached garage residence prevalent in the early half of the 20th century. These residences featured a garage at the rear with the house front and center. This helped to reinforce community in a time when families lived in their neighborhoods not just their individual homes. This typology can be found in many Portland, Oregon neighborhoods, particularly east of the Willamette River, an area active with housing starts. The design for The Portlander combines a traditional site configuration and sensible hip roof with a contemporary window and façade style popular with new construction in the area.
Though the site configuration borrows from the early half of the 20th century, the ground floor takes inspiration from the later half in its open urban loft aesthetic. This allows for flexible configuration and clear vision from the kitchen, the center of the residence. The ground floor also features an optional space appropriate for an office, children’s play room, workshop, or media room, and a generous two-car garage with room for a workbench and storage. A dining deck with a sliding privacy gate connects the garage and kitchen with mudroom and storage components at both ends. The second floor features the family “street,” a generous space spanning the whole house with views to the first floor and access to all of the bedrooms. This space can be used as a play space, a library, homework nook, and familial mixing pot, and is easily adapted as the family’s needs change.