April 14, 2021

RDB-Design

Specialists in home design

Midcentury architectural marvel, Portland’s Wedgwood Home of Tomorrow, is for sale at $639,000

A 1959 product home in Northeast Portland was dubbed the Wedgwood Home of Tomorrow when...

A 1959 product home in Northeast Portland was dubbed the Wedgwood Home of Tomorrow when it was new, but today the cautiously preserved residence is a spacious, livable time capsule designed renowned to a new generation as a movie site for “Shrill,” a comedy series starring Aidy Bryant and streaming on Hulu.

Architects William Fletcher and Donald Blair created the dwelling 7 many years ago to be topped by an inventively lightweight, folded-plate roof, which was named the “Wedgwood Wave” soon after developer Wedgwood Residences.

Beneath the Douglas fir plywood roof ended up flooring-to-ceiling glass panels and prefabricated walnut-veneer panels. A suspended fire and clerestory windows add to the feeling of lightness, as if aspects are floating.

Wedgwood Home of Tomorrow

Aidy Bryant as “Annie Easton” (heart) talks to Lolly Adefope (“Fran”) and Luka Jones (“Ryan”) within Portland’s 1959 Wedgwood Home of Tomorrow in a scene in “Shrill,” a comedy series streaming on Hulu.Hulu

The handsome, then-futuristic home with indoor-outdoor areas, an great function-from-home set up and “The Jetsons”-like created-in gadgetry, acquired a merit award by the American Institute of Architects all through the halcyon days of midcentury architecture.

Rapidly forward: The .27-acre residence at 1300 N.E. 117th Ave. in Portland’s Hazelwood community was mentioned for sale at $639,000 on Jan. 12, 2020, by broker Lori Fenwick of Premiere Property Team.

Who will really like this home with architectural gravitas? “Someone who appreciates aesthetic and modern-day style,” says Fenwick. “Someone who is psyched about possessing and preserving a single of the most architecturally significant, mid-century modern homes in Portland.”

The longtime proprietors say their home was impressed by German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, as properly as summary painter Piet Mondrian’s use of colours and taking part in solids from voids for dramatic, simplified visual outcome.

Wedgwood Home of Tomorrow

Western Building devoted a deal with story and two web pages to the Wedgwood Home of TomorrowWestern Building

The home was invited to be aspect of Restore Oregon’s 2017 home tour spotlighting Fletcher’s uncommon residential operate.

The late architect not only helped refine midcentury contemporary for the Pacific Northwest, but launched an enduring agency, Fletcher Farr Ayotte (now identified as FFA Architecture and Interiors, Inc.), and secured his legacy through his eye-catching, floor-breaking buildings.

Airbnb attendees have also been equipped to test out the Wedgwood Home of Tomorrow (normally misspelled “Wedgewood”) and “Mad Men”-era furnishings and artwork. “Live like a Jetson,” said the holiday vacation keep description.

The entry is guarded by a walled and landscaped courtyard. It’s a signature aspect of Fletcher’s that offers privateness and a perception of changeover from the avenue to the home sanctuary.

The house has four bedrooms, two bogs and 1,650 sq. ft of dwelling space. It is surrounded by a Tiki deck and Japanese gardens.

See extra Portland midcentury modern homes for sale

Fletcher is credited with advancing modernist tenets of open floor plans and effective kitchens that improved the superior livability of his custom made properties. He included elegance with carefully positioned skylights, heat wood louvers and other sensible and elegant geometric sorts.

In the 1950s, Fletcher graduated from the College of Oregon’s College of Architecture and established up store in the basement of his Portland home.

His manual to design and style ended up will work by modernist trailblazer, Mies van der Rohe, and the spare Global Design and style motion.

Even though traditional revival architecture dominated the drawing boards at most companies, Fletcher joined a handful of outliers developing pared-down dwellings encased by glass and native timber.

A year into his profession, Fletcher opened a downtown studio and acquired the geographic moniker as the chief of the “14th Avenue Gang” of architects.

He shared the place of work with Blair as nicely as Saul Zaik, who also rose to prominence as an architect deft at Northwest regional modernism. Rounding out the rest of the gang have been John Reese, Frank Blachly, Alex Pierce and designer George Schwarz.

Later on, Fletcher partnered with Dale Farr and Hal Ayotte to type FFA, which continues to style and design sustainable household and business assignments.

Troy Ainsworth, the head of FFA who labored with Fletcher in the 1990s, thinks the 14th Road Gang noticed by themselves as progressives, layout pioneers exploring for means to make Intercontinental Modernism a lot more user-welcoming and relevant to making in the cloudy, effectively-timbered Pacific Northwest.

This region’s variations of modernism were being vaulted onto the planet stage by early is effective by architects John Yeon, Pietro Belluschi, John Storrs and Van Evera Bailey.

For the duration of the housing boom right after WWII, tract developers Robert Rummer in Oregon and Joseph Eichler in California also promoted the concept of a flexible ground program with quick entry to the outdoor, a strategy that suited speedy-to-develop, write-up-and-beam construction.

Fletcher and others have been rewarded for producing the most of a site’s pure attributes, orienting openings to frame views even though mirroring roof strains to the landscape. They produced buildings that blended, fairly than appear boastful.

In many of Fletcher’s residences, domestically developed, apparent vertical-grain cedar lined ceilings that extended just far plenty of earlier exterior walls to deflect rain and deliver shade without the need of blocking normal light-weight.

Chopping-edge mild switches, intercoms and other Jet Age things ushered in the assure of a connected, substantial-tech entire world.

Rather of rooms concealed driving interior doors and walls, guests stepping into just one of Fletcher’s light-filled entries could scan the living room and past. Glass atriums and see-as a result of sliding doors framed outdoor landscaping, and minimized the boundaries concerning inside of and out.

Peggy Moretti of Restore Oregon praised Fletcher, who lived from 1925 to 1998, for an aesthetic that translated to household and industrial tasks, together with Black Butte Ranch residential vacation resort in the vicinity of Sisters and Rex Hill vineyard in Newberg, exactly where he famously built a house for a steel sculpture by Lee Kelly.

Wedgwood Home of Tomorrow

Archive photograph: Architect William Fletcher was just one of the leaders of the Pacific Northwest Modernism, building glass-enclosed households and buildings in Portland in the 1950s.Restore Oregon

Fletcher, who was an artwork appreciator, had deep respect for Portland sculptors like Kelly and Bonnie Bronson. “His household was comprehensive of art and frequently full of artists, engaging in a dialogue and inquiry into the nature of artwork and lifestyle,” in accordance to Fletcher’s biography at FFADesign.com.

The spacious walls he designed have been primary backdrops for up to date artwork, and they had been illuminated by flawlessly positioned home windows drawing in daylight.

Detailed-oriented, jazz drumming Invoice Fletcher labored with consumers for a lot more than 4 decades, until eventually the previous thirty day period of his lifestyle. By then, present day had progressed, as it was created to do, but continued to be overshadowed by extra common traditional design.

— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

[email protected] | @janeteastman

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