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    Oregon Coast Boles House

    continued

    The Boles house reflects Belluschi's influence. It reveals a balance of opposing forces, fusing traditional notions of indoor and outdoor space, communal and private living areas, views of distant panoramas, and intimate wooded clearings. Perhaps appropriately for a structure looking out over the Pacific Ocean, the Boles house is a forum for the yin and yang of architecture, an interplay of materials with their natural environment.

    Responding to Site

    The site was challenging because of its limited dimension — only 50 feet (15 meters) wide. A wooded hillside is never easy to build on, but the upscale houses already occupying each side made construction still more difficult.

    Boles responded by giving his house a footprint of only 33 by 22 feet (10 by 7 meters) and placing a premium on preserving existing trees. Only two were cut down, but saving the others required serious effort.

    Boles recalls: "It was an interesting siting problem of how to position the house so we had privacy but didn't obstruct views from the other houses and how to work around the positions of the existing trees. That's something I love about Neskowin: You kind of feel like you're in the forest but you can see the ocean at the same time."

    Indeed, the architecture responds to the two natural wonders of ocean and trees by creating multiple views. The house is three stories tall, with the top floor devoted to communal living and eating areas, and the bottom two floors to bedrooms and a studio.

    On all three floors, primary spaces are arranged along a narrow plan to receive southern light, which is filtered through spruce groves. The large windows also help capture ocean breezes for maximum cross ventilation. West-facing windows, which continue the glass facade and invite natural illumination, are naturally geared for long gazes at the ocean.

    At the same time, Boles says, "the views to the east are oriented around a little courtyard we've created that's rather shady and mossy. The house is based upon that dual orientation." When you're not scanning the ocean with your binoculars for a whale spout to the west, you can watch squirrels and birds scamper about to the east.

    On the lowest floor, a series of sliding wall panels and pocketed opaque glass doors allow for maximum flexibility. Comprising a studio and bedrooms, this space gives multifunctionalism a cleaner look than one expects, especially at a beach house.

    Indoor/Outdoor Spaces

    With minimal effort, that cozy bedroom can open up to the world. The lower floor also connects the house to a gatehouse through a small courtyard. A pathway paved with Oregon coastal basalt from a nearby quarry serves as the connector, mimicking the slate floor just inside.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    House on the Oregon coast, by Stanley Boles, FAIA of BOORA Architects.
    Photo: Laurie Black

    ArchWeek Image

    The smooth slate floor of the bottom level reflects the rough basalt on the pathway through a preserved grove of evergreens.
    Photo: Laurie Black

    ArchWeek Image

    Aerial view of the town of Neskowin on the beautiful Oregon coast, about a two-hour drive from Portland.
    Photo:Courtesy BOORA Architects

    ArchWeek Image

    Section facing west.
    Image: BOORA Architects

    ArchWeek Image

    The rhythmic interior wood is an extension of the exterior fence, a transition between public and private spaces.
    Photo: Laurie Black

    ArchWeek Image

    The interior is infused with Oriental calm and the natural warmth of northwest modernism.
    Photo: Laurie Black

    ArchWeek Image

    The Boles house has living areas on the top floor, bedrooms on the middle level, and studios on the ground floor. The inversion of the traditional arrangement make the ocean view a communal experience.
    Photo: Laurie Black

     

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