Gold Beach, Oregon

This 1860 SF vacation house on the Gold Beach, Oregon coast can experience wind speeds of up to 90 mph. The triangular structure points its prow-like nose out to sea and grabs ahold of its site with an exoskeleton of Port Orford cedar logs, inspired by the driftwood logs and debris found along the rocky shoreline. These buttresses resist all lateral loads and negate the need for view blocking shear walls.

The project consists of three main parts: a house placed to capture views both up and down the coastline, a free standing garage placed to help block prevailing spring and summer winds, and an over-scaled wall placed to form a courtyard while visually screening a pair of distant neighbors to the east. The wall, like the house, is braced against the wind with Port Orford cedar log posts and diagonal buttresses. A bleacher-like arrangement of steps leads up to a flat roof on the garage that can be used as an elevated viewing platform on calm days. 1×6 cedar slats over cedar plywood on the building walls allow for seasonal expansion and contraction with no noticeable variation in the slat spacing.

The hypotenuse of the triangular living area is constructed of exposed 2x framing serving as a library wall complete with industrial lighting and a portable rolling ladder. Large sliding wall panels allow the bedrooms to open up to the living area for spatial expansion as well as increased ocean views. The panels are generic cement board stained with common garden fertilizers and set in structural steel frames sealed with melted bees wax.

Cantilevered out towards the ocean is an elevated loft accessed via the portable ladder. Excessive heat gain is controlled with tinted recessed glazing, interior shades, and a passive ventilation chimney located at the apex of the loft. The glazing walls are connected to the exoskeleton with threaded pipe unions that can be expanded (by unscrewing) to keep the walls plumb as the logs shrink over time.