Celebrating, Rain and Shine
by Ted Katauskas
The house called Rainwater is a complex composition of four simple volumes — residence, guest house, office, garage — each capped with a planar steel roof rakishly tilted to channel water down to a single cantilevered corner.
The divergent roof planes almost intersect, and the volumes converge into a single coherent element. But the singularity is elusive. No matter where you stand — above, on either side, or below — you never see the same combination of house, or, for that matter, the entire house. At least one of the volumes, one of the rooftops, is always hidden, just around a corner.
Respecting the Hillside
"We felt it would be good to have a subdued presence from the front," says Eimar Boesjes, an architectural software developer and Internet entrepreneur. "It doesn't say 'we're here!' like the other houses."
Boesjes collaborated on the design and construction of this, their own house, with his wife, landscape designer Anita Van Asperdt.
Although innovative in form and ambitious in size (5,000 square feet, or 465 square meters), Rainwater manages to avoid subverting the Craftsman theme of Moonshadow Lane, a densely built cul-de-sac in the forested South Hills of Eugene, Oregon.
The house is modest to its oversized neighbors, peeking over a shoulder at the street from its perch on a sloped, pie-shaped infill lot that drops into a mature stand of Douglas fir then merges with a protected open space area deeded to remain undeveloped.
Under the typically gloomy sky, the house presents an understated face to the street.
Photo: Eimar Boesjes
A view of the dining room from above.
Image: Eimar Boesjes
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