Big Sister was the house we designed for ourselves after making up our minds to stay on Sauvie Island and put down deeper roots. It's an unusual house for an architect living in the 21st century (rather than, say, the 18th) but its form and many of its details came from two sources. First, there was the existing context of the site, with its rectangular forms and gable roofs, arranged around an open area between some beautiful Garry Oaks. After trying all sorts of shapes and locations, it was clear that the new house had to complete this open space and take its form from the existing buildings. Second, to help make decisions about details and the interior, the house became a character in a fictional narrative, one where a slightly forbidding spinster aunt, stiff and formal on the outside, hides a double life full of Moroccan lovers and sensuous lingerie. There's a sibling relationship to the more relaxed little house just across the lawn, where we lived for four years. You can see this in the windows, porch column details, and planted roof.
images: David Papazian, Andrew Cammarano, Dan Cronin, YD