Eagle Rock Retreat
Location: Vida, OR | Completion Date: 2009
The Eagle Rock Retreat is a vacation home for a trio of siblings, and is located on the property where they went on family vacations in their youth. The property is located along the north bank of the McKenzie River and features old-growth trees and a breathtaking view of Eagle Rock, a basalt column rock formation at the river’s edge.
The new design features three "pods" with living spaces and a fourth building for the garage. The three pods are oriented toward the south in order to capture the view to the river and Eagle Rock and to maximize daylight exposure on the heavily-wooded site. The living spaces open onto large exterior decks that are perfect for relaxation and also serve as the primary means of circulation from one pod to the next.
The interior spaces are divided into "dry" and "wet" zones. The "dry" living spaces (bedrooms, living room, dining room) float above the landscape on pier foundations, anchored along the north side by masonry walls that contain the "wet" spaces (bathrooms, kitchen). The "dry" spaces utilize wood frame construction and are clad in wood panel and batten siding, giving them a sense of lightness as the landscape flows between and around the concrete piers that support them. The "wet" spaces are constructed of ground face concrete block and feel very solid and heavy as the masonry penetrates into the ground, alluding to the weathered rock formation across the river.
Eagle Rock Retreat was designed with many sustainable features. A cistern harvests rainwater that is used to flush toilets. The buildings face south to maximize daylighting and passive heating in the winter. All the spaces have radiant floor heat, and there is no HVAC cooling system. Instead, the spaces rely on a series of windows, which, when opened, cool the spaces in summer by venting hot air out of the building.
Though the home is located in a forest, its location was chosen to minimize the number of existing trees that needed to be cut down. The old house on the property was in poor condition and needed to be removed. However, the roof beams from that structure are re-used in the new home. In addition, all the appliances were donated to a family whose home burned down.