New Retro Modern Art Deco Home Exterior
The Gordon House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, originally built in Charbonneau, was a major motivation and inspiration for the new retro-modern art deco home.
Building site selected by the homeowners because of its expansive view, including Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams.
The footing excavation was masterful, varying no more than 1/8″ over the entire span.
A crew working in cold December weather, building the framing for the new foundation, which had to be deeper on two sides because of the slope. Lots of rebar.
Closeup of framer guiding the nozzle to control flow of concrete into the footing trenches.
Long-distance view of the concrete pump boom used to fill the footing trenches.
Insulating concrete forms were selected for all exterior walls because of their superior resistance to heat transfer, and strength. Termites aren’t a problem, unlike traditional wood framing.
Foundation is out of the ground, and concrete is being pumped into the first course of ICFs to build the main-floor exterior walls.
First course of ICFs to start the main-floor exterior walls. Precision and attention to details is very important!
Gravel is compacted to create a smooth surface for the foam insulation and concrete flooring.
Hay was used to stabilize the ground during construction in winter storms. This picture shows pressure-treated wood used for door and window frames (aka “bucks”), so ICFs can be installed around them without buckling.
Gravel and recycled asphalt were used to level the site around the new home.
Before concrete is poured, penetrations must be made in the ICFs for all heat, water, and electrical distribution.
Plumbing pipes must be installed very early, and located per the plans, so everything ends up where it’s supposed to be.
Utilities must be brought to the house so they can be connected. This requires a trench the appropriate width and depth.
Pressure-treated frames holding the place for living room windows.
Exterior walls are laid and poured in courses, to avoid buckling and blow-outs. Until the concrete is cured, wood framing supports the exterior walls, keeping them level and plumb.
Framing attached to the ICFs keeps them plumb through concrete pouring and curing.
Pressure-treated frames are place-holders for doors and windows as the walls are built.
Getting exterior walls on main floor ready for final pour before building second-floor walls.
After the concrete for the main floor is poured and cured, the crew starts building the second-floor walls. Placement and size of all door and window bucks is critical, so everything fits.
Courses of building and pumping concrete continues until all of the exterior walls are completed according to plans.
Holdown bolts are inserted into the walls with a pressure-treated top plate, similar to a concrete foundation. A special type of Simpson saddle hanger will hold the glulam beams in place.
Beautiful winter day, gorgeous view from the second floor.
The house was designed with 4-foot stepped overhangs. The only way to shape the glulam beams was with a chainsaw. Yes, the project manager was very nervous, but did a fantastic job.
End result, glulam beams with perfect stepped ends.
Crane lifting the glulam beams into place. The longest beams were over 60 feet from end to end.
First beam installed over the new living room, time for the second beam.
A square igloo with strange projections: Completed exterior walls and glulam beams are finished, ready for the next step.
Hundreds of outriggers had to be cut with the same steps as the glulam beams, to make the eaves plumb and level.
Great shot, showing the completed exterior walls and roof framing.
Location and installation of the septic system drain field was a challenge because one corner of the property is close to a creek that’s a tributary of the Clackamas River.
ICF homes need exterior wrap and flashing, same as wood-framed homes before siding can be installed.
One corner eave of the new home, showing how cementious planks are installed.
Exterior prepped, now it’s time for the cementious siding to be installed.
House exterior completed. Almost-flat roof has a commercial-grade one-piece membrane. Because the eaves project 4 feet, regular gutters/downspouts could not be used, and homeowners did not want scuppers. They chose rain chains to blend with the architecture.
Exterior walls, roof, eaves, gutter finished. Note the bump-out on the second floor, above the doorway. It was built adjacent to the mechanical room to be the future home of an elevator if the homeowners need one.
Boulders were needed to create a retaining wall along an alternative driveway.
Showing the front of the new home completed, painted. The stepped rain chains have been installed.
One of the large herd of deer that make this property home. New alternate driveway, lined with boulders from bottom to top on both sides.
The new retro modern Art Deco home exterior just after completion at dawn. Front of the home, facing north, with the east (Mt. Hood) in the background.
The new retro modern Art Deco home exterior after completion at dusk, with exterior and interior lights turned on.
Construction started in December for the retro modern Art Deco home exterior, and the new home was ready for move-in 20 months later. Here are pictures of the exterior evolution, beginning with inspiration for the home, Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Usonian” homes, designed from the late 1920s until his death in 1959. The Homeowners’ involvement with Mr. Wright’s Gordon House, now located in Silverton, Oregon, was the major reason for them wanting a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home.
There are special features included in this home that make it unique:
- The exterior walls are insulating concrete forms (ICF), which are more energy efficient and stronger than standard wood framing
- The home has a flat roof with a four-foot stepped eave overhang
- Hydronic radiant heating keeps the home comfortable without any drafts (unlike forced-air heating)
- It was designed for accessibility with wide hallways, custom stairs with short risers and deep treads; there’s space dedicated for a future elevator
- Sustainability was a major consideration with all of the materials selected.