Client / Owner: Nate Grant + Marika van Adelsburg
Team Members: Tim Schouten, AIA; Jeff Guggenheim; Jenny Landwehr
Contractor: Metcalf Design & Construction
Landscape Design: Outdoor Scenery Design
Project Type: Remodel + Addition
Building Type: Single Family Residence + Art Studio
Building Size: 2,500 SF
Location: Portland, OR
Completion Date: 2012
Photography: Nate Grant

  • Boyle Mays, Stephanie. (2014). “Making Room for Art.” Portrait of Portland, Vol. 26, 50-56.
  • Lowery, Jessica. “Rendering: Giulietti / Schouten Architects.” Western Art & Architecture Oct. & Nov. 2016: Print & Web.

This mid-70’s house was featured in 2005 for Dwell and 2007 on the Street of Eames Tour.  An owner-architect designed the original 1100 SF house.  In keeping with the original spirit of the “house in the trees”, the new design adds an office, 2 bedrooms and expands the interior spaces while retaining its Northwest form.

Phase I: Whole-house renovation and 1150 SF addition in Balch Creek Watershed, Forest Park.

Phase II: Detached 260 SF art studio/ loft inserted in site to compliment main house and provide much needed work space and retreat for extended work sessions.


  1. an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas.
  2. an event or period marking a turning point in a course of action or state of affairs.

This complete house renovation began by adding two new bedrooms, two shared offices and an expanded garage to the original L-shaped plan.  A second level MBR was added above the garage and offices to minimize the footprint and preserve space for a future artist studio.  The clients, both established graphic artists from southern California, were in search of a home they could both work endless hours together while home-schooling their teenage daughter.  Although they loved the original house with its simple saw-tooth roof forms, NW style and corner windows, it was more suited for a single bachelor than two work-at-home parents with a growing teen.

The preferred new design would need to bring the family together while providing privacy from the sleeping rooms and although the offices needed to be visible and functional as true work spaces, the clients did not want them to dominate the entire plan.  The resulting plan retains the Living/ Dining/ Kitchen configuration with their forest views while expanding the undersized MBR, Dining area and outdoor lounge.  The L-shape plan is further extended to the north, away from the Balch Creek Watershed with new offices and garage while the existing garage is converted into a new guest room and bath.  A new mudroom/ laundry area provides access to a private side yard serving as their dog Molly’s dog run, as well as access to a second-level secret retreat for reading and yoga.

A 260 SF studio was added shortly after the house was finished to provide a true retreat within earshot of the home and offices.  The concept was to keep the plan minimal in size but large and open from within.  It needed to function as a true ceramic studio with area to sculpt, fire and store ceramics as well as a clean space to rest, away from the kiln, with separate kitchenette and half bath.   A visual connection to the house and deck were also important.  The new design mimics the main house form and materials with matching shed roof, triangular clerestories and exterior materials.  The plan was kept simple with a central work area with storage and display aligned on the east wall and the kitchen/bath, loft bordering the west wall.  Full height glass at the north and south walls provide forest views and maximize daylight.   The studio also acts to provide privacy from the neighboring 3-level house to the east.

The design concept for both phases was to keep the simple dark shed forms and contrast the art-filled interior by maximizing daylight.  All roof and site storm water are gathered into a large central flow-through planter to offset drainage into Balch Creek.