Eight statements about Harpoon House.

[ONE] Harpoon House is the first house of designer Matt Kirkpatrick, communications designer Katherine Bovee and their cat Soleil. It is located in Portland, Oregon.

[TWO] Located on an urban infill lot in the inner Southeast Portland neighborhood of Buckman, the site has existed for decades as an unadorned patch of neatly groomed lawn hosting a single hydrangea bush and a tidy chain link fence. It will soon be the site of Harpoon House – a small, efficient dwelling – and Harpoon Gardens – a diversity of native plants, trees, edibles, and possibly a few chickens.

[THREE] The future residents of Harpoon House believe in small houses, simplicity, efficiency and good design.

[FOUR] The stats: 2500 square feet of land. 2 people and 1 cat. 16 by 28 by 28 feet tall. 1152 square feet of house. 1 bedroom. 1 bathroom. 1 root cellar. 1 roof garden. 0 garages.

[FIVE] The average size of a single-family house in the U.S. was 983 square feet in 1950. The average size in 2004 was 2,349 square feet. Harpoon House features 704 square feet of living space and 448 square feet of unconditioned basement.

[SIX] Harpoon House was designed to encourage a fluid relationship between indoor and outdoor living. Yes, it does rain a lot in Oregon. But for the record, Portland’s average yearly rainfall is less than Seattle, New York or Houston.

[SEVEN] No conventional roofs were used in the making of this house. Harpoon House is topped with of 433 square feet of ecoroof. Soil and plants instead of tar paper and asphalt shingles. The verdant rooftop will help the house stay cool in the summer months and absorb run-off in the rainy months. Why aren’t more roofs green?

[EIGHT] Sustainability at Harpoon House is not: a green-washed interior, a checklist of eco-gadgets, an exorbitant budget or a pat on the back. Sustainability means smart design and an integrated approach to planning, designing, building and living. Harpoon House is expected to be certified LEED Platinum.


Design for Occupancy

matt (at) designforoccupancy (dot) net

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