Waechter Architecture’s Garden House Wins Top Design Award!

WA is proud to announce that on October 30th they, alongside celebrated Allied Works Architecture, 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 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.”

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

MORE INFORMATION: 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. 

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.




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