I think it is safe to say that when it comes to home design I have some pretty eclectic tastes. I love the stern and stoic look of the ever popular craftsman style that one sees all over the Pacific Northwest. I appreciate the intricate details of a turn of the century victorian. I even like the quaint and ultra-efficient nature of a well designed tiny home. I pretty much live, breath, and consume home design throughout my life as a professional Realtor.
One school of home design that I often feel doesn't get the attention it deserves in the Portland area is newer construction that falls into the modern minimalist category. While incredibly popular in places like Los Angeles and New York City, Portland has seemed to reject this style out of hand, associating minimalist homes with overpriced condos built with the sole intention of sucking rent money away from gullible grad students, programers, and new Portland transplants.
For the record, some of that criticism is justified. As someone who has watched "old Portland" change and shift radically over the past decade I completely get why someone would draw a line between the neighborhoods they've grown up with disappearing and the emergence of a more more minimal architectural style. However, I spent way too many hours in my college years studying the Bauhaus movement or the direct an honest lines of a Frank Lloyd Wright home to dismiss a house built around modern minimalism out of hand.
Keep in mind, when I'm talking about a modern minimalist home, I'm not talking about a home built "on the cheap". A home made from cheap materials, in a rush, and without care would be a poor investment no matter what the architectural style. Instead, in a minimalist home the elements strive to convey the message of simplicity (that is the key word right there). The basic geometric forms, elements without decoration, simple materials and the repetitions of structures represent a sense of order and essential quality. The movement of natural light in buildings reveals simple and clean spaces.
I recently had the opportunity to tour a minimalist home in South East Portland over the Thanksgiving weekend and I took a camera along to document the space. The home is a brand new construction and has never been officially occupied. Nestled just south of the Laurelhurst Move Theater the building looks slightly out of place next to several structures built around the 1950's but still blends well with the neighborhood as a whole.
I'm not entirely sure I did the home justice as I only had a basic point and shoot camera with me, but I thought it would be fun to post some images anyway.