Legendary architect Robert Oshatz has been creating eco-friendly residences for nearly 40 years. His elegant, swooping designs seem to know no boundaries, as can be seen in his latest creation, the passive "Fennell Residence" which floats on Portland, Oregon's Willamette River. It all started when a family purchased the vacant river mooring as the location for their dream summer home. Oshatz transformed the industrial dock into a 2,364 square foot ultra-low energy house that truly stands out along the riverbed.
The entire structure is made from Glulam wood beams that Oshatz stacked and connected to make his signature swirling and curved design. Glulam is made from a number of small pieces of timber glued together, rather than a large singular piece of wood. This not only makes it super versatile but also greatly reduces the overall amount of material used. Glulam wood is much lighter than most building materials like steel and timber and is also easy to produce without using a great deal of energy.
The home’s sprawling window wall is not only for taking in amazing river views. The glass allows the sun’s rays to heat and light the home during the day while providing natural ventilation. The two level residence is bright and open, with a lofted master bed and bathroom. The main level includes an expansive common area to gather and enjoy the waterside. With materials prefabricated and barged in on a boat, the home’s construction required minimal amounts of energy. Most importantly, construction did not disrupt the atmosphere of the river, which is also national natural landmark. With this amazing floating home, Oshatz defies the odds again, seamlessly integrating a beautiful, modern home into its surrounding environment.