Thursday, April 12, 2012

Troy Fowler: Designing "The Oregon Dream"


The designer of "The Oregon Dream" House #3 brings a Northwest pedigree and contemporary style to this year's NW Natural Street of Dreams.

Troy Fowler, president of Skyline Homes & Design, is Oregon born and raised and likes to put a Northwest flair on the homes he designs. That's why he's the perfect choice as designer of Stone Bridge Homes NW's entry for this year's Street of Dreams.
Sitting in his office space in Southeast Portland, it's easy to get a feel for what Fowler likes to design. A large stone fireplace and an open steel staircase dominate the main floor of the office, which is walled by windows that bring the heavily treed exterior landscapes into view. The space has the feel of a modern cottage in the woods.

"Our specialty is a Northwest contemporary style," Fowler said. "We use a lot of glass, lots of stone and lots of natural elements. Stone, steel, water."

It's a formula that's worked for Fowler in the past at Street of Dreams. He entered the 2007 Street of Dreams show — remembered for it's massive view homes built on five-acre lots off Redland Road near Oregon City — and turned heads with his stunning contemporary design.

"In 2007, we did one in that style and it turned out really well," Fowler said. "It was a really contemporary house and we ended up winning for Best Architecture and Best of Show."

This year's Street of Dreams — to be held July 28 through Aug. 26 at The Vineyard in West Linn — offers Fowler an opportunity to show what he can design for a smaller footprint.

Adjacent greenspace.
The lot for "The Oregon Dream" House #3 —adjacent to a greenspace allows Fowler to show his talent for connecting a home and its residents to their natural surroundings.

A highlight of the design is a covered outdoor living room with a nearby fire pit that is an extension of a glass-walled family room.

"One of the reasons we picked the lot we did is because it has some outdoor space," said Kelly Ritz, president of Stone Bridge Homes NW. "There has been a big movement toward that extended living space. It effectively expanded the livable square footage of the house."
Green highlight indicates outdoor living space. Click to enlarge.

"It's a nice option not to be staring at another house, to have that view looking out," Fowler said. "It kind of opens up the home more so we can use a lot of glass on the side and the back to make it kind of panoramic."

Fowler describes the exterior look of the two-story house as "Prairie style with contemporary edges."

"It's not really trendy," he said.  "It seems everybody's still leaning toward the Old World, French country design. We're doing some funkier stuff."

Rendering of "The Oregon Dream House."
"It's definitely not the same old, same old," Ritz said. "Troy's pretty laid back and very accessible as a designer. His designs aren't overly fussy. I really respect the stuff he does."