The “CYRK” project is a live-work building in southeast Portland designed for a family committed to living a sustainable lifestyle. The 14,500 square foot building consists of the owners' residence on the second floor with their office and an additional office tenant space below. The family wanted a building that was anchored in its Pacific Northwest roots while conveying a progressive image that fit within its urban neighborhood context.
The design team envisioned the building as a wooden box, sculpted to control natural light, views and privacy, perched on top of a semi-transparent base. Exterior decks and gardens on the north and south sides provide a fluid relationship between inside and out and accommodate a range of activities from small intimate gatherings to larger social events. Wood elements (all either reclaimed or FSC certified) weave in and out of the building reinforcing that central theme. The building’s simple horizontal lines are complemented with vertical, slatted wood sunscreens which allow multiple configurations for the commercial spaces. Projecting canopies add a finer scale of texture and depth to the façade. Continuous glass at the ground level gives the building a sense of lightness while providing a high degree of visibility to the commercial spaces. South facing gardens terrace down from the second floor roof deck to the private, landscaped back yard.
The interior of the residence reinforces the concept of screened transparency. Organized around a central gallery connecting the main entry stairs, dining room and living room; the space is divided by two partial-height, clamshell-shaped walls and is daylit by a continuous band of north facing clerestory windows. Translucent rolling panels allow the adjacent kitchen and guest quarters to be opened or closed to the central gallery.