Architect Richard Campbell’s modern 1966 cottage in southwest Portland is for sale at $1,465,000


If the silhouette of the Richard Campbell residence in southwest Portland were quickly drawn on a napkin, it would look like two tents pitched side by side in the forest. The trees can be seen through the transparent walls of the house and the red oak floor of the living room connects to the terraces which float above the forest.

A simple drawing, however, would fail to show the intricate design and engineering required to make a 2,505 square foot house, supported by concrete pillars, seem to disappear into its green surroundings.

Architect Richard A. Campbell’s original 1960s vision for a modern cabin on a wooded hillside has been called masterful by design experts. A recent renovation by Portland architect Paul McKean was celebrated by the state preservation group Restore Oregon as “sensitive” and “astonishing.”

The 0.65 acre sloped property at 5400 SW Burton Drive in the Sylvan Highlands neighborhood allows the home and its matching sloped pavilion roof to blend in with nature, not block it.

Of all the innovative architects introduced to Oregon, this is “one of the most creative open-concept homes in the Pacific Northwest,” says Jeff Weithman of Real Estate Through Design / (w)here Real Estate, which put the property up for sale in June. 1.

The asking price: $1,465,000.

It is only the second time the two-storey house has been on the market since it was occupied 56 years ago by Campbell and his family.

First-time visitors only see the roofline from the street. As they descend the stairs, however, they stop in awe of a two-story house that looks as open as a child’s dollhouse.

Glass panels draw natural light into the transparent home, and doors at either end open to let breezes blow through the main level living, kitchen, and dining areas.

The branches of the trees seem close enough to touch. Vaulted cedar ceilings and sky-open spaces add to the serene scene.

Also part of the engineering magic: exposed concrete pillars bring a modern industrial look inside and out, and Douglas fir ceiling beams and purlins visibly support the roof.

In keeping with Northwest Regional Modernism’s hallmark of giving locally grown timber a prominent role, the window frames were machined specifically for this home. Shelves and built-in furniture were also made to measure, such as the floating bench in front of the fireplace in the living room.

Campbell, who earned degrees in architecture from the University of Oregon in 1956 and Yale in 1961, worked as a designer in the Portland office of the venerable Skidmore architecture, planning, and engineering firm. , Owings & Merrill (SOM).

In 1964 Campbell partnered with William Roger Yost and Joachim Grube to found Campbell, Yost and Grube Architecture in Portland, which is now YGH Architecture.

Joachim Grube designed a house for his family next to Campbell’s house on a seemingly unbuildable plot which they divided.

Campbell, who was elevated by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to its prestigious College of Fellows, designed primarily commercial buildings such as Portland’s One Pacific Square. He was active in his career until his death in 1985.

In 1967, Sunset Magazine called Campbell’s residence “a treehouse 10 minutes from downtown Portland” and it was named Western Home of the Year by AIA-Sunset Magazine.

In 1979, a roof structure that mirrors the house’s roofline was designed by architect Gary Michael to cover a section of the large ipe deck.

The renovated kitchen has quartz countertops and a 14 gauge stainless steel backsplash. Jones Media Store

Over the 10 years of their ownership, the sellers commissioned Paul McKean Architecture to perform key renovations and improve an already open floor plan. Now, instead of view-blocking cabinets and a standard-sized refrigerator in the galley kitchen, there are under-counter cabinets and a double-drawer refrigerator.

The lower level has also been improved. The master suite has a cedar-lined sauna, round tub, and shower that opens to the outdoors. There are three other bedrooms.

— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

[email protected] | @janeteastman

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• Modernist architect Neutra’s rare restored Oregon home is on sale for $3,750,000

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• Oregon’s “Terrible Tilly” lighthouse on a private island for sale for $6.5 million

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