Northwest Regional Modernism. An all-encompassing term for the artists, architects, designs, and homes that excite us here at Modern Homes Portland. A style as beautiful as the region in which it was born, Northwest Modernism is an interpretation of what it means to be connected to nature in one of the most intimate aspects of one’s life – the home. Characterized by the use of native elements and building techniques adapted to the region, Northwest Modernism typically features floor-to-ceiling windows, vaulted tongue and groove ceilings, natural stone mantles and hardwood or concrete floors. It means minimal decoration, asymmetrical floor plans, and views of nature that inspire ease of mind.

Popularized between 1935 and 1960, Northwest Modernism sprung from the foundation of the International Style, was deeply influenced by the Bauhaus movement and Japanese aesthetics with the use of regional materials. Architects who are known for utilizing this style of architecture – Pietro Belluschi, John Yeon, Paul Thiry (Seattle), John Storrs,  Van Evera Bailey, and Saul Zaik.

“Northwest Regionalism is this uniquely local interpretation of mid-century modernism that is not found anywhere else…embodies the essence of our region.”

The consideration given to the nuances of the style speaks to the life in the Pacific Northwest as only a local would know to do. Large windows to maximize light during dreary winters, vast overhangs to allow for time outdoors despite the rain and site planning that takes advantage of the incomparable natural beauty we Northwesterners call our backyard.

I am so grateful that we still have so many well-preserved examples of this style still standing, both as public buildings and private residences. In the last 10 years, I’ve been honored to see and to sell many of this homes and each time, I am in awe of the encompassing history and the passion with which homeowners of this style preserve and maintain their homes. It is a privilege to have a legacy such as these structures in our midst today.

You can read more about Northwest Regional Modernism, here and here. Please enjoy some examples of the style included below. And if you find yourself inspired and want to see what’s on the market, get in touch! I’d love to help!

Marisa Swenson
Modern Homes Portland,
971 – 285 – 7955

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