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Passive Riverside Residence

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Fennell residence is a floating house in Portland designed by architect Robert Oshatz. He created a 34 x 80ft float of Douglas fir logs and steel I-beams placed crosswise to make the house buoyant yet stable. The 2,364sft foot ultra-low energy house entire structure is made from Glulam wood beams stacked and connected to make swirling and curved design. Glulam is made from a number of small pieces of timber glued together to reduce the overall amount of material used. Glulam wood is much lighter than steel and timber and is easy to produce without using a great deal of energy.

Cedar shingles clad the eastern, northern and southern exposures, while the western side opens up to the river with floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors with curved glass windows above. The glass allows the sun’s rays to heat and light the home during the day while providing natural ventilation. With materials prefabricated and barged in on a boat, the home’s construction required minimal amounts of energy. Most importantly, construction did not disrupt the atmosphere of the river and the modern home seamlessly integrates into its surrounding environment.



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