OREGON DESERT HOUSE
Location: Terrebonne, Oregon
Status: Under Construction
A married couple had purchased a beautiful and rugged piece of property in the Eastern Oregon high-desert and approached Dean Works with a simple project brief. There would be two structures; one a workshop, the second a two bedroom residence. The house would be oriented to the spectacular southern views of Smith Rock and the river below. Both structures would be passively cooled and heated. Concrete would be the primary material used. Simple construction detailing was a requirement; the couple would be building the structures themselves. In short, it was (and is) a dream job for Dean Works.
The design of the driveway and buildings was laid out to preserve as many of the existing old-growth Juniper trees as possible. Entry to the house is accessed through a planted and shaded, north-facing courtyard. This outdoor space holds a long shallow pool and trickling fountain for sensory delights. Inside, a simple material palette of board-formed concrete, exposed douglas-fir roof joists, and reclaimed redwood form the raw & refined interior spaces. Access to the outdoors, is reached via large, custom 9'x6' sliding glass pocket doors. The doors will disappear into the walls when opened, truly dissolving the relationship between indoor and outdoor living.
The property strives to be 'off-the-grid' and both structures have been carefully designed to maximize passive sustainable strategies. Electricity will be provided via solar power. There will be two forms of heating via large soapstone fireplaces and selective radiant heat in the concrete floor slabs. The house's southern canopy has been designed and detailed to maximize sun exposure in the winter months and block it out in the summer. All rooftop rain water will be diverted and stored in small cisterns for reuse. The wood modular wood formwork required for the concrete walls will be reused as the ceiling throughout both structures.