A recent New York Times article features Portland’s WAECHTER ARCHITECTURE as it explores affordable housing solutions. In the midst of a nationwide housing crisis, a rapidly growing city, and increasing density Waechter Architecture takes the humblest of challenges and elevates projects through design. The Garden House, a $150,000 project general contracted by the owner, was the 2015 co-recipient of the American Institute of Architects Honor Award alongside the $30 million dollar PNCA campus extension by Allied Works Architecture. Importantly, this strategy is also a scalable solution. Currently WA’s simple yet elegant design and material solutions can be seen from ADUs like Garden House to wineries to larger, low income multifamily projects.

Portland’s Small-House Movement Is Catching On  by Zahid Sardar, October 1st, 2016

“It feels larger, thanks to the indoor/outdoor design solutions Mr. Waechter developed.”

“The success of the cottage … left its architect, Ben Waechter, amazed. ‘It was dramatic to get an honor award for such a small project.'”



A new urban alleyway

Milwaukie Way is a new pedestrian alleyway formed by an existing 1929 Spanish Colonial-style building and two new buildings that wrap its south and west sides. Together, the new and the old create a vibrant, thoughtfully scaled pedestrian alley full of shops and a cafe, reminiscent of Old World streets.

For this project, WA reconsidered a standard infill development through the lens of creating lively, yet intimate public spaces first. The ambition was to not only graciously accommodate the requested 7,500 SQ FT program for the client, but to contribute an urban alley scaled for neighborhood gatherings, interaction and chance meetings.

Click here for more images.

Come visit Portland’s newest landmark alley, Milwaukie Way, located in the Westmoreland neighborhood at 6637 SE Milwaukie Avenue.

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Giorgio Mist Photo with LOGO WHITE-MODIFIED

Congratulations to our client Furioso Vineyards for their top 10 ranking in Portland Monthly’s feature, “Oregon’s 50 Best Wines.” We are all eager to get our hands on a bottle of this esteemed 2014 L’Altra Linea Furioso Pinot Noir.


NE Portland
(12) 1650 sq ft condominiums, 3 bed / 3.5 bath w/ 2 loggias + garage
Construction documents phase


N Portland
(4) attached 2090 sq ft row houses, 3 bed / 3 bath w/ 4 loggias + garage and 1 bed guest apartment
Construction documents phase


N Portland
(2) attached 1500 sq ft houses on corner lot, 3 bed / 2.5 bath + 260 sq ft garage and private courtyard
Under construction


N Portland
(4) 1700 sq ft apartments, 3 bed / 3.5 bath w/ loggia and garage
Under construction


N Portland
Above: (4) 2800 sq ft flats (1 per level), 3 bed / 2.5 bath
Ground level: (4) 555 sq ft condominiums, 1 bed / 1 bath
Schematic design phase


N Portland
(12) 2100 sq ft row houses, 3 bed / 2 bath + garage, studio ADU, and private courtyard
Schematic design phase


NE 43rd
NE Portland
(2) attached 2600 sq ft houses, 3 bed / 2.5 bath, garage + 1 bed apartment and 1200 sq ft outdoor room
Permitting phase


SE Portland
(20) 1700 sq ft row houses, 3 bed / 3 bath
Under construction

Center for Architecture Exhibition

August 15 – September 15

2015 Architecture Award Recipients

Your opportunity to view the winning work of all 2015 AIA Portland Design Award recipients in one room. Portland firms represented:

Awards Recipients List for AIA Exhibit III

CENTER FOR ARCHITECTURE: 403 NW 11th, Portland (

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KELSEY CAMPBELL-DOLLAGHAN gives a shout out to Waechter Architecture’s Garden House while  offering a bit of history on ADU’s: their restrictions, their uses, and the questions they raise.

As many of you know, Ben Waechter began Waechter Architecture (WA) in 2007 with the goal of growing a small studio intent on providing memorable and vivid architectural experience. The first iteration of WA was to see award-winning residential projects successfully demonstrate Ben’s vision.

Now, WA is entering a new phase; one of new project and client types, such as multi-family, winery and cultural projects. This evolution requires an increase in capacity. We have met the call and would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our new team.


Ben I



Registered in both Oregon and Washington, Ben is the founder of Waechter Architecture (WA). Prior to WA Ben worked for internationally renowned firms such as Allied Works Architecture (Portland) and the Renzo Piano Building Workshop (Genoa, Italy).

Ben is a highly decorated and published designer whose principles lie in providing bold forms arrived at by exercises in concept, distillation and intelligent programming. Ben is an experienced leader of design projects ranging in size, scope and program requirements.


Rand I


An alum of Auburn University, Rand came to WA after completing work at the world-renowned Rural Studio and 5 years at Lake Flato Architects focusing on environmental and agricultural projects.

Rand’s work has been featured in numerous publications and by both the Museum of Modern Art in New York and La Biennale di Venezia. Rand is drawn to an architecture specific to its place, responsive to its climate, and characterized by its timelessness and culture.


Emily I


Emily has come to WA after 10 years spent with Allied Works Architecture progressing award-winning cultural work.

Emily received her degrees from UVA and Harvard and has come to WA to continue applying her advanced design principles to new programs. Emily’s architectural interests focus on innovative spatial and planning solutions. She especially enjoys working collaboratively with clients during the conceptual design phase.


Bradley II


With over 17 years experience working for internationally recognized firms in Boston, Phoenix and Portland, Bradley is an award-winning and LEED Certified professional.

So far in his career, Bradley has won a Fulbright Fellowship, an AIA Medal, and a Rotch Travelling Scholarship (which allowed him to pursue independent architectural study across eight countries). Bradley holds his B. Arch and M. Arch from Washington University in St. Louis.


Dawndae I


With an M.A. in Arts Administration from the University of Oregon, and with a history managing small, creative businesses, Dawndae came to WA last year fresh from 5 years coaching artists and producing cultural events.

Adept at driving projects, Dawndae provides committed management, an understanding of the creative process, and a unique ability to connect with clients and collaborators.


Daria I



With more than 20 years experience visiting and studying international architecture and building practices alongside Ben, Daria offers sound foundational understanding, fresh perspective, and the keen ability to drive WA’s principles of simplicity and refinement.

Daria studied Sustainable Community Development at the University of Oregon, and as a realtor, developer and long-time supporter and organizer of neighborhood initiatives, Daria provides invaluable industry comprehension and relationships.


Furioso Vineyard_Red Plot.150

FURIOSO VINEYARDS is a newly acquired winery along famed Worden Hill Road in Dundee, OR. For this project, WA performed analysis of site conditions and re-envisioned its elements with a bold, new identity. Elements now elegantly work together while also creating distinct and complimentary atmospheres of their own.




The existing winery is both expanded and then transformed by a purposeful vertical screen and roof canopy.

BEACON:  A vertical blackened wood screen passes over opaque wall surfaces and open-air rooms. During the day the body of the building takes on a solid appearance. At night the screen takes on an etherial, translucent appearance as interior illumination back-lights the vertical cedar ribs, permeating the surface and transforming the winery into a hilltop beacon.

WINGS:  The winery, crush pad, and tasting room are covered and protected by 2 large metal roof surfaces. These surfaces are held above the body of the building letting air and light pass freely between the two. The cantilevered structure of the roof gives the appearance that it is unencumbered by gravity, flying freely in the air.



Interior-Looking East-Rendering-BW-1860

The new tasting room, positioned to feel as if it is hovering above and within the vineyard, is open on all sides offering panoramic views. Support spaces (such as kitchens and bathrooms) within the tasting room discreetly occur as wood clad volumes, or boxes, that subdivide the larger spaces into more intimate zones.


PIAZZAWinery-Piazza Diagram_newsletter_300

A new courtyard, or piazza, now lies between the winery and winery residence. The southern end of the piazza is elevated above the vineyard creating a dramatic view of the horizon.


WA will continue to share project updates during the winery’s new design and construction phases. For more information on Furioso Vineyards please visit


Los Angeles:  New House in Design Phase

WA has just completed schematic design of the Alta Vista House in Los Angeles. The house is conceived as a series of white stucco volumes spread across the site. As one moves through the building two types of space, distinct from one another, are experienced. The spaces defined within the stucco volumes are concise, room-like and have a focused connection to the landscape through aperture like openings. These rooms “within” are clad with wood paneling to further accentuate a warm and contained feeling. In contrast, the spaces defined between the stucco volumes are free-flowing, dynamic and open to the landscape in multiple directions. Together, these distinct spatial experiences create a rich and varied backdrop in which to enjoy LA’s indoor/outdoor living.

160226_BAUNETZ_SAWTHOOTH“Shed roofs can actually be more reminiscent of old industrial areas, but in the form of tight succession … they suddenly fit very well into the landscape.”

Read the Article

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Only one week left to see the fine collection of wooden architectural models by local firms such as ourselves, Works Partnership, Hacker, and Allied Words Architecture. Exhibit closes February 26th.



Location: World Forestry Center, Merlo Hall
(across the parking lot from the zoo – easy!)

See Portland Monthly shout out here!

Black + Architecture photos side_by_side (fixed)

“The outlook feeling perfectly permeates the small ensemble, it is never quite clear if one is indoors or outdoors.”


Braun Publishing, Switzerland, produced a book on standout examples of contemporary architecture utilizing the color black.


Amongst this collection of 30 international projects, Waechter Architecture’s Tower House is the lone representative from the U.S. and sits alongside the likes of Archipelago House by Sweden’s Tham & Videgård Arkiteckter and Dune House by Norway’s Jarmund / Vigsnæs AS Arkiteckter MNAL.


Tower - Dune - Archipelago
Last Friday we enjoyed a rare break in the clouds during our site visit to Milwaukie Way in Sellwood. For some at WA, it was the first time seeing this project in person. Certain details came to life and the project became infinitely more special as we were able to experience its scale, its relationship to the existing building, and its fit into the site.


We are taken with the large corner windows and their relief when in profile.
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The special quality of a bustling, well-loved alleyway feels palpable, and the
two buildings play excitably well together: old and new.
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We noted how well the entrance covers inflect the otherwise flat facade.
Just the right touch.


The trees get reflected. And it’s beautiful.


Milwaukie Way wraps the existing Spanish Colonial on the south and west sides making for a special corner on SE Milwaukie and Claybourne. We are imagining this corner of eateries and shops well occupied in the warm spring and summer evenings.


This is the back of the west wing. We call it “Monument.” It’s a temporary view because, interestingly, while this may be the back side of Milwaukie Way, it’s also the site for our upcoming Claybourne Commons – a site for individually owned, designed-to-endure, Row Houses. More on this project in the coming months.