- Project Name
- Royal II
- William Kaven Architecture
- WKL Development
- Project Types
- Single Family
- Project Scope
- New Construction
- 4,422 sq. feet
- Year Completed
- Shared by
Daniel Kaven, Partner in Charge / Lead Designer
Trevor William Lewis, Lead Architect
Mike Perso, Director of Architecture
Joel Dickson, Project Designer
Natalie Garyet, FFE
General Contractor: Metcalf Design and Construction,Structural Engineer: Butler Consulting, Inc.,Civil Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers
- Project Status
Royal II is the latest installment in William / Kaven Architecture's collection of private residences perched on several steeply sloped sites within Forest Park, a 5,000-acre woodland sitting west of downtown Portland. The ongoing aesthetic vision for the development is to create a collection of homes unified in materiality and design ethos, but distinct in their floor plans and overall execution.
Unfolding in bands of transparency down a verdant slope, Royal II opens onto staggering views of one of the largest forested urban reserves in the United States. Terraced levels give way to a forest floor strewn with mossy stones and punctuated by towering Douglas firs and Alder. A simple material palette of dark steel, concrete, glass, and custom bronze-black cladding grounds the house within the surrounding treescape, while an encircling green roof further blurs the distinction between architecture and forest.
Floor-to-ceiling glazing suffuses the entire interior of the house with natural light throughout the day; even the attached oversized garage, which doubles as a fitness area, is backed by a full wall of windows that frames the breathtaking view and creates a uniform transparency across the east-facing elevation. Overhanging balconies and a dramatically cantilevered main floor help to diffuse harsh rays and provide respite from inclement weather.
Upon entry at Royal II, a light-soaked observatory overlooks a lush green roof, seamlessly leading the eye out into the dense forest. A steel screen at the entrance to the observatory, custom-designed by William / Kaven, offers a glimpse of the central stair core and skylight, which beams a shaft of light clear down through the main level to the lowest floor. Furnished with custom seating designed by the Architect and lined with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, the observatory level is intended as both a foyer for greeting guests and a space to enjoy moments of personal relaxation and contemplation, setting the tone for this tranquil, elegant house.
In addition to the architecture, all interior design and furniture selection was executed by William / Kaven. The natural tones of the white oak floors, quartz countertops, porcelain bathroom tiles, and crisp, white walls combine to create a light and airy counterpoint to the dark drama of the home’s exterior. Throughout the home, the use of neutral colors and simple materials foregrounds the palette of dark greens and browns of the woods beyond the windows. On the floors, thin inlaid walnut borders subtly delineate the different living areas of the open plan and add a classic touch to the modern interior.
Royal II’s main level features a large, cantilevered living room with oak floors, kitchen and dining areas with built-in custom cabinetry, and the primary bedroom suite, which opens onto a private sun deck. The living room is anchored by a plush Tufty-Time Sofa from B&B Italia and heavy nesting Moroso Phoenix tables, while a paprika-colored Womb Chair by Eero Saarinen for Knoll adds a punch of color in the corner of the room. Throughout this level, views of the lush forest floor, looming trees, and Mount Baker’s snow-covered peak are framed by generous glazing, evoking an experience of midair suspension.
For the dining area, William / Kaven selected a Tom Dixon pendant lamp, as well as chairs from Antonio Citterio’s Jens collection in brushed light oak and thick embossed black leather. This room opens onto a terrace with an al fresco dining area and aluminum seating arranged around a substantial concrete fire table by RH.
Royal II’s kitchen was custom designed for the owner, a renowned Paleo chef and bestselling food writer whose virtual home cooking demonstrations attract a large international following. The sylvan landscape, visible through large windows above the counter, serves as a spectacular backdrop for her branded video courses and food photography. The kitchen’s custom handcrafted oak bookcases host a display of the owner’s published work alongside influential historical cookbooks.
The home’s daylight basement, which is partially embedded into the site’s steep slope, is flooded with light from the stair core skylight and east-facing window walls. Off the den, a large ground-level terrace abuts a filtration planter that forms part of the concrete retaining wall and contributes to the home’s water reuse system.
Royal II was designed to prioritize the existing beauty of a spectacular site without unduly compromising either the architecture or the environment. Cantilevered living areas and the sloped site reduce the home’s footprint, minimizing disturbances to the ecosystem on the ground. Extensive daylighting studies performed during the design phase, as well as the integration of a central skylight, reduces energy costs. The absence of a manicured landscape in favor of native plantings allows the preexisting flora to flourish and take precedence, eliminating the need for outdoor water use.
William / Kaven owns seven parcels of land overlooking Forest Park, which boasts a rich system of hiking trails, public gardens, and creeks. The design for the Royal collection of homes began with a simple thesis: create an opportunity to live among the trees without sacrificing the conveniences of urban life. Through siting and material selection, the design team seeks to furnish an experience of seclusion and privacy while still providing easy access to the amenities of the city. Located within minutes of downtown and less than 500 feet from the renowned Wildwood Trail, Royal II accomplishes both aims.
Royal II follows on the heels of the acclaimed Royal I residence, which was completed in early 2020. A third home is under construction, expected to be completed in 2025.