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The clients are a couple who own 40 acres in Oregon where they run a business that offers state of the art breeding services for cutting horses. The site encompasses a small lake, or pond, a view of a magnificent butte, Smith Rock and the distant mountains.


The existing residence on the property was a double-wide trailer and this quickly became too small as their son started to grow up.


One day, scanning an issue of Dwell, they noticed a house featured in the Houses We Love section — it was the Residence for a Sculptor project from Sander Architects. They fell in love. A phone call later they extracted a promise from the architect to come visit the site where he was inspired by the sheer beauty of the geography—and very touched to find the page from Dwell with his project posted on their fridge.

The wife is an artist and wanted a studio, they hoped to have privacy from the road where the arriving horse trailers would pass, taking advantage of the views would be important, they wanted plenty of space – and lots of sound separation for their son’s budding passion for the drums.

Initial plans to build right over the top of the pond were scrapped as the clients wanted some yard space on both sides of their house. Instead the design evolved as a long envelope with a roof that stepped to echo in form the nearby butte. One entire side of the house is translucent or transparent material (for the views) and the other side has a skin of overlapping rusted metal panels (providing privacy from the road) that again speak to the geology of the butte.


Total square footage: 4,500sf

Materials: multi-cell acrylic panels, bamboo flooring and cabinets, stained concrete floors with radiant heat on the ground floor and recycled metal panels for the skin on the road side (these will be allowed to rust gaining even more resemblance to the red rock of the butte.)

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