Portland, Oregon

Site Size: 5,000 square feet

Project Size: 3,000 square feet

Program: This 3,000-square-foot single-family house was built on an undeveloped lot in a dense 1920s historic neighborhood near Portland’s downtown. Though it overlooks a 31-acre city park, the site came with several major constraints: it fronts a busy street, the back quarter slopes down 20 feet, and a large 100-foot Douglas Fir requires its own space at the slope of the site.

Solution: Ellen Fortin and Michael Tingley, both architects, built their combined live-work space for $650,000. A professional architecture studio and guest apartment occupy the ground floor. The second floor contains two bedrooms and the main living space—a large single room with living, library, dining, and kitchen areas, with an outdoor terrace extending to the south. The master suite and a west-facing deck take up the third floor.

Completed in November 2010, the house, built in a high seismic zone, has a steel moment frame to support cantilevered decks and brace the primarily wood-framed structure. On the interior, the architects employed evocative regional materials, such as fir paneling and basalt stone tile.


Owner: Ellen Fortin and Michael Tingley

Gross square footage: 3,000 square feet

Total construction cost:

Completion Date: November 2010

Ellen Fortin Design + Architecture
3702 E. Burnside Street
Portland, OR 97214

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit: Ellen Fortin + Michael Tingley – Partners in Charge (RA); Shelley Martin (RA), Mitchell Snyder (RA) design assist

Interior designer: Ellen Fortin Design + Architecture

Madden & Baughman Engineering Inc.
Partner in Charge:  Jerome Madden
Designer: Jesse Puetz

Landscape: Surface Design Inc.

Partners in Charge: James Lord + Roderick Wyllie

Designer: Alain Peauroi

ITAire - David Neketin

General contractor:
WBS Construction
John Weed, President
Curtis Bosworth Vice President
P.O Box 19046
Portland, OR 97280

Jon Jensen Photography

Mitchell Snyder



Structural system
Wood and Steel Frame on Concrete Foundation

Exterior cladding
Cement Stucco over drainage board on ground floor
Vented Cedar Siding rainscreen assembly above

Ipe Wood decking at exterior decks
Hemlock at Exterior Soffits

Elastomeric: 60 mil. Class A TPO membrane roof

Wood frame: Sierra Pacific exterior aluminum clad insulated windows, fir interior

Wood Entry Door: Custom Oak designed by EFD+A, constructed by Portland Millwork
Sliding doors: Sierra Pacific Fir wood doors
Aluminum and Glass Sectional Garage door – Jack’s Overhead Door, Inc.

Baldwin at Front door, Emtek Stuggart at interior doors

Colonial Bronze interior door pulls
Amerock knobs, Topknob SS bars at Kitchen cabinets

Other special hardware:
Stanley galvanized barn door track hardware

Interior finishes
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
Custom Walnut cabinets – Kitchen and Bath by Peter Kirk

Paints and stains:
Miller Paint, Sherwin Williams and Cabot semi-transparent wood stain

Wall coverings:
Custom Fabric Covered Acoustical panels: GTS Interior

Paneling: Custom Fir wood paneling – Stair and Master Bedroom by WBS Construction

Plastic laminate: Wilson Grey plastic laminate – Kitchen vertical bar face, lower drawers

Floor and wall tile:
Calcutta Marble at Kitchen counters
Basalt stone - exterior slabs at entry
Basalt stone – Pental interior stone tile at Kitchen counters, stone tile at bath floors
Slate –Pental Vijay Gold floor for ground level entry hall + 1st floor bath
Calcutta Marble large tile at Master Bath – Pratt and Larson

Carpet: Mohawk Spectrum V

Special interior finishes unique to this project:
Custom steel and cable stair railings with Fir wood cap designed by EFD+A,
Constructed by Falcon Metalcrafts

Gas Fireplace - Living HZ54E Regency Horizon Contemporary

Collection of vintage Eames chairs - Aeron chairs in studio,

Crate and Barrel – Dining
Studio Table- Ikea

Interior ambient lighting:       
Nelson incandescent pendants - Dining
Artemide incandescent pendant - Kitchen
Paulson PH5 Pendant

Halo 3”low voltage adj w/ Zenon MR 16 bulbs, Pinhole, narrow spots
Tech Lighting low voltage tracks – Living and Entry hall

Winona Uplight at exterior wood soffits at porches
Winscape Adrian up / down light at entry doors

Dimming System or other lighting controls: Lutron dimmers

La Cava Lavatory - Master bath
Kohler Traverse Lavatory - 1st and 2nds floor baths
Kohler Persuade Water Sense Dual Flush Toilets- all baths
Produit Neptune Jade Tub – Master bath

Amerisink SS - Kitchen sinks
Franke Faucet FF1800 – Kitchen sinks

Unico Mini-duct system
Navien 98% efficient tankless gas hot water heater

Other unique products that contribute to sustainability:
All roof drains routed to an in-ground cistern, no off-site discharge