Archive for February, 2011

on the boards: BUG

February 27, 2011

Beech Urban Gardens is a new mixed-use building designed to meet passivhaus standards and substantially raise the bar on energy efficiency.  Located at the heart of the burgeoning N Williams corridor, BUG sits on an empty south facing 50′ x 120′ corner lot.  Seven residential units occupy the top two floors, while six creative offices are situated above three ground floor retail spaces.

BUG features a fully glazed south facade utilizing a high-performance window system to maximize direct solar gain, minimize heat loss, and provide exceptional views and daylight.  A system of sliding wood shutters is incorporated into the facade to provide complete external shading in the summer and eliminate overheating, while still allowing views and daylight.

The roof features a community garden with raised beds and a potting shed, a huge terrace with views to the neighborhood and the city, and photovoltaic panels making the roof’s south guardrail and providing the building’s minimal electrical needs.  A greywater recycling storage tank provides gravity fed water for the rooftop gardens and the building below.

interior of typical residential unit

southwest view with wooden shutters in closed position


small project update

February 3, 2011

as we mentioned in our last small project update, we are working on another remodel of an existing bathroom.  although these projects are not huge and flashy, our client is awesome and we love this little project.  it definitely challenges the notion of what a bathroom can be.

inspired by the japanese bath house, a new skin of wood wraps the entire room.  a wall to wall skylight is inserted over the shower to flood the room with daylight.  to minimize costs, the existing framing and fixture layout was retained.

the existing ceiling was cut back from the shower wall and a sloped well was framed up to the new skylight.  we projected the ceiling into the well just enough to position a new concealed fluorescent uplight to add some evening drama.  to avoid any structural impact and keep things simple and raw, we allowed the existing rafters to run through the well exposed.

the wood is reclaimed douglas fir that was salvaged from an old willamette river dock and milled by creative woodworking.

right arm construction is the general contractor, and is doing a beautiful job.  check back soon for images of the finished project.