Tuesday, December 20th, 2011
by Sarah Cason
Besides perpetually gray skies overhead, a London flat and a rural Oregon home don’t have much in common. But that didn’t stop one British expat from bringing some of his native country’s design aesthetic stateside while building his new hillside home. The owner of the Fox Hollow Residence enlisted Richard Shugar, principal of architecture firm 2Form, to recreate the high-volume spaces of his English loft on a home-sized scale.
The Fox Hollow Residence, located in Eugene, OR, features three distinct sections: one for utility, one for living, and one for a bedroom. Each area is skewed for maximum exposure to the sun and views of the stunning nearby mountains. With the living spaces accessible on the same level, the residence is effectively compartmentalized into three lofted apartments. In the living room, walls stretch two-stories high, making them a perfect place for the art-collecting owners to display their favorite pieces.
Not content to merely admire nature from afar, Shugar closely monitored the house’s impact on the immediate environment as well. “I think the first step to sustainability is reducing the building’s footprint to essential rooms and spaces,” he says. To make that first step, he and his team decided that air conditioning was expendable. Large, operable windows open to the vistas, and pair with ceiling fans to move the air throughout the space. Large roof overhangs shield the rooms from direct heat, effectively controlling the home’s temperature in the precipitation-heavy Northwest.
Fox Hollow’s design is a trick on the eyes, too. “When you enter the house from one side, it looks like a one-story building,” Shugar says, “but when you look at the view from down the hill, it looks like a really big home.” Whether England or Oregon, uphill or down, sometimes the best solution lies in a simple shift of perspective.
- Recessed sliding doors shield glass from sunlight for a cooling effect
- Rainwater is collected from the sloped roofs and filtered in a bioswale before flowing back into a nearby creek
- All beams are salvaged blown-down trees from eastern Oregon forests
- Roof overhangs shield the structures from direct sunlight
- Local concrete used on foundations
- Floor vents allow cooler air to flow from basement