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Project of the Week – the Pine Street Duplex

Sandwiched on a small city plot, the Pine Street Duplex is a masterclass in modern duplex house design. Using sustainable Western Red Cedar, Portland-based architect Wilson Webster created two beautiful, spacious homes on this one very tight lot. See How.

We chose Western Red Cedar for its natural beauty and exterior performance.” – Webster Wilson, AIA

Architect: Webster Wilson Architect
Location: Portland, Oregon
Photo: Caitlyn Murray

Using Innovative Design to Create Quality Spaces

When designing two homes for a client on one 50’x50′ infill lot, there are some inherent restraints – especially in a dense urban area where sprawling out is not an option. The design response had to be vertical. But it also had to be warm and inviting, which as lead architect Webster Wilson explains, was no easy feat.

“The biggest challenge on such a tight site was to provide high quality spaces and meet the program for two separate family units, but also maintain privacy from each other and other neighbors,” says Wilson. “The result is a 4-story wood structure, with the units separated by a green roof “canyon”, and carefully crafted and choreographed fenestration locations.”

Choosing the Right Siding for a Duplex House

He tempered the clean lines of the modern duplex house by cladding it in a beautiful knotty grade of Western Red Cedar.

“There is a lovely texture and unique character that comes with a knotty grade, which also happens to still be cost-effective,” says the award-winning architect. “There is visual interest up close, so the building is not just appreciated from across the street. Wood siding in general, evokes the tangible craftsmanship and timeless connection to the past and nature, that you can never get with machined metals or cement boards.”

Photo: Caitlyn Murray

Western Red Cedar Specs

GRADE: Select Knotty

SIZE: 1×6 boards, 1×3 “reverse” battens

FASTENING: Stainless steel siding nails

APPLIED FINISH: Semi-solid stain

SUPPLIER: Lakeside Lumber