Garden House Portland: SE Clinton Home

Garden House in Portland, SE Clinton home design, Modern Oregon Residential Property photos

Garden House Portland

Contemporary SE Clinton Residence, Oregon design by Waechter Architecture, USA

Dec 2, 2015

Design: Waechter Architecture

Waechter Architecture’s Garden House Wins Top Design Award

WA is proud to announce that alongside celebrated Allied Works Architecture they won the highest design award in Portland; the AIA Honor Award.

Waechter Architecture received an AIA Honor Award for Garden House, their first-ever Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU); a small project to begin with, particularly in comparison with Allied Works Architecture’s 134,000 sq. ft., $30 million, Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design, PNCA’s newest campus addition.

Garden House in Portland

Photos by David Papazian and Sally Schoolmaster

Garden House Portland, Oregon

Garden House was submitted to AIA Portland’s Design Awards “Small Projects” category, however, the jury opted to give it an award of more significant measure as they believed it shares “with this massive project like the PNCA, the sense of virtuosity that … we really have to acknowledge professionally.” Juror Kevin Daly, founder of Kevin Daly Architects of Santa Monica and Design Faculty member at UCLA, went on to say, “One of the things that is really striking about this project was it took three or four very onerous zoning requirements and turned them into real attributes of the project … it’s really about reclaiming space, and rethinking the fundamentals; the core of urban space in the city.”

Garden House in Portland

The zoning requirements WA specifically and cleverly found solutions for were:

• – A building height limitation of 18’
• – A total size limitation of 800 square feet
• – Siding must match the existing home
• – Roof angle must match the existing home
• – Window proportions must match the existing home

Garden House’s exaggerated eaves cantilever 10 feet on both sides of the house creating protected outdoor spaces below and two generous ceiling height bedrooms (and a 2nd bathroom) upstairs. “Our client wanted to build a new 800 square foot dwelling in their backyard. The idea was to build a surprise… a sculpture… an object in the landscape,” says Ben Waechter, Principal of Waechter Architecture. This new structure has the iconic silhouette form of a “house” yet is abstracted into a distilled and pure sculptural form. Support spaces for this ADU are made up of a stairway and half bath on the north side and a kitchen on the south, bookending the living room.

Garden House in Portland

Waechter Architecture took Portland’s increased density movement and used it as an opportunity to explore housing iconography, sculptural forms, dual-purpose elements, and explore how to massage small space regulations in order to maximize useable space.
Construction on Garden House was completed in March 2015 and is located in the SE Clinton neighborhood, Portland, Oregon. The size of new construction is 800 square feet.

Garden House Portland Garden House Portland Garden House Portland Garden House Portland

Ben Waechter

Ben Waechter is an award-winning architect based in Portland, Oregon. His projects have received wide praise and are regularly published in the local, national, and international press, including The New York Times, Dwell, and Dezeen. For more information, visit

Photographers: David Papazian and Sally Schoolmaster

Garden House in SE Clinton, Portland, information / images from Waechter Architecture

Garden House in Portland

Location: SE Clinton, Portland, Oregon, United States of America

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