Client / Owner: Withheld
Team Members: Tim Schouten, AIA; Drew Stricker
Contractor: AK Builders
Engineer: Structural Department
Project Type: New Construction
Building Type: Single Family Residence
Building Size: 3,900 SF
Location: White Salmon, WA
Completion Date: 2022
Photography: David Papazian


Columbia Bluff House is just what it sounds like – sitting high above the mighty Columbia River in the Columbia River Gorge on a rocky forested bluff, the site opens up to 180-degree views up and down the Gorge with close-up views of Mt. Hood and Hood River below. Designed for a retiring professional couple relocating from Seattle and wanting a dream home to retire close to the activities they love: skiing, hiking, running, mountain biking, wind surfing, and off-road motorcycles. All of this gear needed to be close by but the clients didn’t want it to dictate the design of the house, and instead wanted a simple, modern design fitting for the Pacific Northwest.

Sited on a long, narrow, and forested site, the simplicity of the volume and materials stand out from any other home on the bluff, accentuating the warm natural cedar siding and complimentary dark bronze metal roof and windows. Rotating the box volumes and connecting them via a covered walk adds more attention to the simple forms and creates a protected courtyard between.

With the compact footprint of the house, an over insulated building envelope, and super high efficiency HVAC system, the use of solar panels on the roof makes this house net-zero and with the help of battery storage, it can operate completely off the grid as well.