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TreeHouse

Show hide Project Info

Location

Portland, OR

Scale

50,000 sf

Program

Housing, Retail

Completion

2015

LEED Certification

Silver

Awards

AIA Portland, Merit Award

World Architects, Building of the Year, Finalist

World Architecture News, Residential Award, Long List

Architizer A+ Awards, Best Multi-Family Housing, Finalist

Excellence in Concrete Awards, Oregon and Aggregate Producers Association, Finalist

Treehouse is a seven-story, 69-unit, multi-family apartment building located on a steep forested site on the Marquam Hill campus of the Oregon Health & Science University (OSHU) in Portland. The project program provides housing for OHSU staff, students, and affiliates who are interested in a live/work/no-commute lifestyle, as well as a new retail destination on the ground floor.

The design bridges the urban and topographical qualities of the campus by placing the building as an “in the round” object in the forest. Instead of cutting into the hill, the building form is carved to follow the landscape. From the interior entry lobby, the experience of the forested landscape is framed. From the exterior, the building connects the upper level bridge entry to the lower level retail and rain garden landscape and deck that mitigates all stormwater runoff.

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Section Elevation

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The units are designed as a series of interlocking volumes arranged around a compact central core. The irregular octagonal plan was driven by mandated setback points required to allow for glazing on every face of the building. Windows have been carefully placed to maximize daylight and spaciousness in the studio and one-bedroom flats.

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Completion of the building's exterior framing and sheathing.

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The variegated sheet metal cladding is installed on lifts by Skyline Sheet Metal.

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Sub-grade site work begins by constructing drilled shafts for the new building foundation. Typical light-framed wood construction over a two story concrete podium rises above the site. 

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Light-framed wood construction over a two story concrete podium rises above the site.

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Framers construct the walls on the new deck of each floor and tilt them up into position.

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Completion of the building's exterior framing and sheathing.

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The variegated sheet metal cladding is installed on lifts by Skyline Sheet Metal.

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1/5

Sub-grade site work begins by constructing drilled shafts for the new building foundation. Typical light-framed wood construction over a two story concrete podium rises above the site. 

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Light-framed wood construction over a two story concrete podium rises above the site.

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Façade mock-up

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The façade of the building is inspired by the textures and light of the forest. A continuous carved building skin is achieved by eliminating the expression of floor levels by incorporating all expansion joints into the custom window surrounds. Special attention was paid to the framing to allow for the precise placement of the windows at the corners, as well as the detailing of thru façade venting. The skin has a consistent texture and pattern but intentional variety that gives the façade a dynamic quality that changes as you move along and around it and with time of day.

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Façade system detail

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Section Elevation

Façade mock-up

Façade system detail