When Tim and Sue Butler decided to upgrade from their condo to a custom-built home in Southeast Portland, they had one thing in mind: their bicycles. With both work and play revolving around the sport, the couple needed a design that was as serious as they are. Luckily, they found like-minded bicyclists-turned-architects to do the dirty work.
They settled on Path Architecture after meeting Ben Kaiser and Corey Martin, the heads of the firm, at a bike race in Canada. The first obstacle these two masterminds faced? Making do with a lot that was only 44 feet wide – that’s five feet smaller than the normal size. So instead of building out, they built up to three stories, the highest the city would permit.
In addition, they were able to make the home appear airy and open with a multitude of windows. There are floor-to-ceiling windows in the living area, a bank of windows in the master bedroom that overlook the surrounding treetops, and a window panel near the shower in the master bedroom to let in natural light, plus many others.
Supplying the labor was contractor David R. Rush, who added dark cedar walls, a similar siding, concrete floors on the ground level and stucco walls. Fireplaces were added to each level to increase the comfort and available heat in the winter months. But the one thing left out of the design? Doors. There are only two in the entire house – one for the guest bedroom and one for the guest bathroom.
So where do the bicycles come into play? The couple’s extensive collection of 18 bicycles is housed in an outbuilding on the property. Along with the bikes is an organized area for spare parts, as well as a washer and dryer. Connected to this space is a bathroom and adjoining sauna – the perfect outdoor additions for those cold, and sometimes muddy, bike rides.
Now, after a long day of riding, the Butlers have a retreat to return home to. Surely this custom-built home was worth the wait.