Sponsored Case Study: Simple Comfort in an Oregon Home

When architect Nahoko Ueda set out to design a family home in the rolling terrain outside Salem, Oregon, her goals were clear: capturing breathtaking views and creating a minimalist space that exudes warmth and personality. 

Upon seeing the site, Ueda immediately sought to maximize the stunning views from all angles. Rather than creating a glass box, she aimed to frame the changing seasons without sacrificing privacy, comfort, or energy efficiency. 

The location offered panoramic vistas of vineyards, the city of Salem, the Cascade Range (including Mount Hood), and even Mount Rainier on clear days. Ueda strategically designed areas for maximum impact, while also creating intimate spaces that celebrate the surroundings. The dining area features a two-story glass wall that provides a focal point of the valley below. The design seamlessly integrates the inside and outside spaces, allowing for an indoor-outdoor experience. 

While the dining area’s glass walls are undoubtedly impressive, Ueda wanted to extend the home’s allure beyond a single grand space. She strategically created comfortable and modest areas that harmonize with the incredible views. These spaces are intended for both solitude and gatherings with loved ones. 

Ueda ingeniously incorporated big moments within private spaces, such as pocketing sliders that reveal the outdoors when opened in the main bedroom. She also designed smaller-scale spaces that offer a surprising impact, such as a flush frame window at the end of a hallway, unveiling a perfect view, or a glass-enclosed window seat that exudes simplicity and comfort. 

To maximize natural light, which is crucial in the Pacific Northwest, Ueda incorporated large-scale windows and moving glass walls throughout the home. However, she maintained a delicate balance between energy efficiency, privacy, and comfort by thoughtful positioning, exterior shading, and the use of materials like low-e glass. 

The result is a family home that seamlessly blends with its surroundings, celebrates the breathtaking views, and provides a harmonious balance between comfort, privacy, and energy efficiency. 

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