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The Humberston House

Portland, Oregon

AIA Portland Citation Award
Portland Design Festival Gold Award

The Humberston House was commissioned by a young couple with 4 children. It is located on a triangular acre lot in a suburban neighborhood. The site is shaded by tall trees. It has views across a golf course that impart a sense of being in a pastoral landscape.

The house occupies the shaded portion of the site. Its two wings form a garden courtyard where the most sunlight falls. The living spaces are arranged on the garden level and connect to the courtyard and the lawn surrounding the house with large sliding planes of glass. This level of transparency allows vistas through the house between the garden and the landscape. The house is articulated as rectilinear stucco volumes that have been cut away to reveal panels of wood and glass.



The Paul House

Dundee, Oregon

The Paul-Wadsworth House is located within the vineyards of a winery overlooking the Willamette Valley. The house balances comfortable private spaces and living areas sized for entertaining.

The house is approached by a long drive through the vineyards. Entrance is made by way of a trellised walk that traverses a small courtyard. The house obscures the view until one enters the main living spaces. There, floor to ceiling windows frame the view.

The house’s form is derived from utilitarian buildings that dot the agrarian landscape. A shallow pitched gable roof with deep eaves shelters the structure from the elements and provides year round outdoor spaces.



The Lair Condominiums

Portland, Oregon

AIA Portland Merit Award
Urban Land Institute Award

Potestio Studio was commissioned to design 13 residential units for a steep 10,000 square foot lot located between an historic neighborhood and downtown Portland, Oregon. A courtyard scheme enabled 10 town houses to be arranged on the site. The descending slope allowed for three additional flats to be located on the lowest level of the building.

The courtyard serves as the resident’s shared space thus reinforcing a sense of community. The courtyard is set at the middle level in the building, with stairs connecting to the three unit entry levels. It provides auto access to six garages. The stairways create a pathway through the building connecting the building to the neighborhood and downtown.

The building’s composition balances a reading of the overall building form and the individual units, identified with bay windows. The singular slope of the roofline ties the building to the site. The alternating pattern of bay windows and panels of wood siding is a modern interpretation of the Victorian houses in the neighborhood.


The Staples House

Portland, Oregon

The Staples House is commissioned by couple with two young children. They provided a brief that describes an open, flexible and informal space. It is sited on a terraced slope in a wooded area with expansive views of the valley and mountains beyond.

The design calls for three floors framed with a grid of columns and beams such that the main spaces can be free of bearing walls. This open space is most utilized on the two lower levels. On the bedroom floor, the master suite has privacy, but the children’s rooms will be divided by sliding panels that when opened allow the rooms to be joined.

Steel columns and commercial glazing systems are combined with wood floors and cabinets to create an environment that is both minimalistic yet inviting.



The Birch House

Vancouver, Washington

AIA Portland Honor Award
AIA NW and Pacific Honor Award
Portland Design Festival Bronze Award

A Singapore based businessman commissioned this house as a retreat from the business world. The 3500 square foot house occupies a gently sloping lot on the north shore of the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington. It has expansive views of the river and to the east, Mt. Hood.

The house is conceived as a sequence of accentuated spaces that guide one from the street to the river. The entry sequence begins with a narrow garden pathway that leads to the front door. It culminates in a two-story living space with a window wall that captures the river beyond. The interiors are punctuated with wood lattice screens that provide layering and definition to the spaces. Inverted bay windows focus views to the river, the trees and the sky.


Oven and Shaker Restaurant

Portland, Oregon

Oven and Shaker Restaurant occupies a former workshop building. The design showcases the immense old growth wood beams of the building and utilizes reclaimed barn siding for its primary surfaces. Reclaimed wood is also used for custom tables. Reconditioned factory lighting and a long banquet modeled on the Knoll Sofa enhance the sophisticated yet rustic feel.



The Ganz House

Portland, Oregon

The Masonry and Ceramic Tile Institute Best in NW Award

The Ganz House is designed for a family of four. It is situated on the upper most portion of a twenty acre wooded bluff overlooking the Columbia River and the four highest mountains of the Cascade Range. The house has an elongated, angular form that follows the contour of the site.

The house’s multiple levels and angles are meant to simultaneously orient one to the distant mountains and to the river valley, which lies 1000 feet below. Rooms have different window types, offering landscape panoramas or framed vignettes of the individual mountains.

The principal materials of concrete block and rough sawn timber are balanced by slate floors and refined cabinetry.




Portland, Oregon

This gallery is designed to show photography. Interconnected rooms provide a variety of scales, suited to the differing sizes of the works exhibited. Pivoting walls enable the curator to change the configuration of spaces as suited to each exhibit. The spaces are designed to flow seamlessly and encourage the visitor to explore the extent of the gallery.

Natural light is introduced through the large storefront windows, but mitigated by a wall set in front.

Portland, Oregon

The Atelier Lapchi is a retail showroom for a company producing hand woven rugs. Wood slat screens subdivide the large space into intimate room sized zones. The screens enable the easy hanging of varied sized rugs.

Portland, Oregon

Potestio Studio was commissioned to create a gallery for contemporary and installation art in an old industrial building. The client’s brief asked for a neutral space whose lighting and ambiance would enhance the experience of art.

The resultant design is a square room punctuated by the timber columns of the building. The galleries art walls are subtly articulated to express planar surfaces as distinct from the floor and ceiling. The floor is finished in steel plates whose natural finish provides a deep luminous appearance thereby fostering a contemplative environment.

Credits: Artist, Ben Buswell; Photographer Evan LaLonde

Portland, Oregon

This commission for a very small gallery presented the challenge of creating the impression of a larger space. The sense of expanded space is achieved by expressing the art walls as floating planes disengaged from the floor, ceiling and the structural walls, which describe the actual volume. Varied ceiling heights provide further spatial definition. An alcove introduces additional exhibit space for video installations.



The Gragg Apartments

Portland, Oregon

The Gragg building is a three-unit apartment building set on a 2500 square foot former parking lot in an evolving Portland neighborhood. The design solution has two story loft units flanking a stair that ascends to the owner’s third floor penthouse. The loft units are flexible live/work spaces. The penthouse is entered from a covered balcony on the north at the top of the stairs. The covered terrace on the south provides year round outdoor living space.

The building respects its context of concrete industrial buildings and wood houses. Its simple form is rendered in painted concrete block and alternating panels of reclaimed wood and aluminum framed windows. The overall composition emphasizes symmetry and proportion while the fenestration continues the rhythm and pattern of the neighboring buildings. The intention is to achieve an architectural vocabulary suited to a maturing urban environment.

The building’s energy conservation measures include concrete block walls and concrete slab floors providing thermal mass, increased insulation, extensive use of reclaimed wood, a green roof with solar array, and windows positioned to provide ample daylight and passive natural ventilation. Structural separation between units virtually eliminates sound transmission. Storage is provided for bicycles rather than autos.



The Providence Medical Group North Portland Clinic

Portland, Oregon
Mahlum Architects, Architect of Record

AIA Portland Merit Award

Richard Potestio was the project architect for this Mahlum Architects project. The North Portland Clinic is located on a busy transit street in an otherwise low-density neighborhood. It has 9,000 square feet of lobby, examination rooms and administrative and doctor’s offices.

The design is predicated on the notion of connecting with the community and presenting health care in an open and welcoming manner. Therefore an inverted gable roof is employed to increase the height of the windows connecting the interior to the exterior.

The interior lobby, waiting areas and nurses’ stations are open and bathed in light. Murals by artist Caleb Freese enliven the end walls of the examination room blocks.



The Borden House

Manzanita, Oregon

The Borden House is a beach house for a young family. It is located on a wooded lot. The clients asked for a house that would evoke the modern Japanese houses they knew from years abroad.

The design concept utilizes walls of translucent channel glass that obscures the view of the surrounding trees and transforms them into blurred shapes recalling the brush work of Japanese ink paintings.



Ziba World Headquarters

Portland, Oregon
Mahlum Architects, Architect of Record

Richard Potestio with Mahlum Architects was commissioned to design an office with prototyping studios, lecture hall, and exhibit spaces for the design firm, Ziba.

The design features a large open workspace flanked on the north by individual creative suites on two levels. Light is introduced into the building through skylights and north facing windows, providing balanced, non-glare light for the working environment.

A semi public garden with wood lattice screen is the forecourt and façade for the building.



The Wetlands Interpretive Center

Hillsboro, Oregon

Potestio Studio was commissioned to design an interpretive center and office building for the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Center.

The building takes its form and material precedents from local agricultural buildings. A broad deck overlooks the wetlands and provides orientation and class space. The exhibition space is lit by clerestory windows.



The Lewis River House

Woodland, Washington

This house is set on a bluff overlooking the Lewis River. An austere glass pavilion hovers over stone terraces and the verdant landscape.

The contrast between the architecture and the rugged character of the site and its vegetation is intended to draw the visitor’s attention to the beauty of nature.



The Aloha Huber Park K-8 School

Aloha, Oregon
Mahlum Architects, Architect of Record

Richard Potestio was the project architect for this Mahlum Architects project. The building incorporates administrative offices, classrooms, a library, commons, and a gymnasium/auditorium.

The building’s classroom wing is divided into pods that cluster 4 classrooms around joint learning spaces. The administration, library and commons are located at the juncture of the classroom wing and the building housing the gym, auditorium and music rooms.

Light is of special concern. Windows are designed with light shelves to reflect light onto the ceilings and deep into the spaces. Clerestory windows in the gym provide balanced non-glare light. Large window walls flood the public spaces with ample light.



The OHSU Biomedical Information Communication Center

The OHSU Biomedical Information Communication Center
Portland, Oregon
THA Architects, Architect of Record

AIA Portland Honor Award
AIA NW and Pacific Merit Award

Richard Potestio was the project architect for this THA Architecture project.The Biomedical Information Communication Center at the Oregon Health SciencesUniversity is sited on a steep hillside at the center of the campus. It connects the original and new campuses with a system of bridge, stairs, and elevators.The building houses a research library serving the school and the State through the first ever fully computerized database and telecommunication facility.

The design features a concrete frame that is clad in stone on the north entry side and is exposed on the south to the forested ravine. The frame creates a matrix in which a variety of spaces are realized, including two double height rooms lit by windows assemblies comprised of glass block and a window wall system.



The Buel Elementary School

McMinnville, Oregon
Mahlum Architects, Architect of Record

LEED for Schools Gold Certifiation.

Richard Potestio was the project architect for this Mahlum Architects project. The building houses administrative offices, classrooms, commons, library and an outdoor covered play field.

Natural light and safety through supervision and visibility were key design considerations for this project. Windows are arranged to provide balanced light in classrooms and bright light in the public spaces. The classrooms are arranged in clusters with flexible group learning spaces incorporated into each cluster. Hallways, doors and stairways are designed to provide good visibility and therefore supervision and security.

The south facing covered play field is incorporated into the form of the building, providing a space that is also well suited to host school events.



The University of Oregon Varsity Football Locker Room

The University of Oregon Varsity Football Locker Room
Eugene, Oregon

Potestio Studio collaborated with the firms M1C2 and Downstream to renovate a conventional 1950’s locker room into a state of the art facility for the University of Oregon’s Football team.

The design draws its inspiration from a stadium, with the lockers arranged in a radial pattern on two levels overlooking a central gathering space. This ensures that all players are included in an overall spatial experience that reinforces the team spirit. Everyday meetings and half time talks are enhanced by the acoustic and sightline qualities of this configuration. The team experience is further enhanced with interactive video screens and audio systems.

The lockers integrate technology including continuous ventilation, and power/docks for laptops and mobile devices.

Materials are chosen for durability and beauty. The upholstery fabric used on seating was developed for NASA. The wood slat ceilings, and the stainless steel and wood lockers are locally produced.