Real Estate

Property Watch: A One-of-a-Kind Home by an Iconic Local Architect

For $3.6 million, you can work with "organic architect" Robert Harvey Oshatz to fully customize the interior.

By Melissa Dalton March 28, 2023

A rendering of a possible home in Oshatz Wood.

Editor’s Note: Portland Monthly’s “Property Watch” column takes a weekly look at an interesting home in Portland’s real estate market (with periodic ventures to the burbs and points beyond, for good measure). This week: a chance to customize a home by a famous architect in Northwest Portland's Forest Park neighborhood. Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].

If you came across this listing on a recreational scroll of Redfin, you’d probably have questions. Principal among them: Is this for real? The answer is yes, nearly, as construction has started for this house and is slated to complete this year. It will be the first home in an exclusive collection of five, called Oshatz Wood, a development on 90,000 square feet in the Forest Park neighborhood and designed by iconic local architect Robert Harvey Oshatz.

Oshatz studied architecture at Arizona State University before graduating in 1968. In the years since opening his own firm in 1971, he’s been dubbed an “organic architect.” “I see architecture as a synthesis of logic and emotion, exploring and fulfilling the dreams, fantasies, and realities of my clients,” writes Oshatz, who also worked and studied under Frank Lloyd Wright Jr. during summers in college and after completing his degree.

In the decades since, notable local designs include the swooping forms of 2004’s Wilkinson Residence and 2005’s Fennell Residence—the latter recognizable for its Willamette River frontage. There’s also the architect’s personal Elk Rock Residence in Lake Oswego, built in 1989 and sometimes called the “Funnel House” for how it anchors into its steep, previously “unbuildable” lot, and widens from the bottom up.

The five homes destined for Royal Boulevard, just off of NW Skyline, are somewhat similar to Oshatz’s own, in that they are tall vertical designs on steep hillsides. The listing notes how this form responds to the site, as it “requires no excavation and no change in rainwater drainage, resulting in no erosion, or landslide risk.”

The home is listed as having four bedrooms and four baths over 3,700 square feet, but explains further that “Oshatz Wood residences are fully customizable to the owner’s desires,” and can be expanded up to 6,000 square feet, since the architect prefers to adapt the home to the occupants. A bridge connects the street to the structure, and there will be stairs and an elevator accessing up to five levels.

For ideas, peep inside Oshatz’s own home via this video tour, which has people raving about the architect’s artistry and point of view. “Every site has its own character,” says Oshatz. “The challenge to the architect is to capture that character and translate its spirit into architectural poetry…. It is only a question of how much of an artist we architects choose to be."

Listing Fast Facts 

  • Address: 216 NW Royal Blvd, Portland, OR 97210
  • Size: 3,700 square feet/4 bedrooms/4 baths
  • List Date: 9/18/2022  
  • List Price: $3,600,000
  • Listing Agent: Terry Sprague, LUXE Forbes Global Properties

Melissa Dalton is a freelance writer who has focused on Pacific Northwest design and lifestyle since 2008. She is based in Portland, Oregon. Contact Dalton here. 

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