NW Backyard Blues # 2

This backyard blues project is located in the St. John’s neighborhood up in North Portland. Our clients had a ranch house that had a decent view of the St. John’s Bridge from the kitchen. Decent in the fact that is was partially blocked by a janky metal patio structure that came with the house, no extra charge.

So that was the first thing to go. Off with it.

Desiring covered outdoor space yet in its place, a solid, cedar clad, wooden box was inserted into its place. It was then sliced vertically (with the metaphorical butcher knife), on its southern facade, along the view corridor, to allow the view from the kitchen window to the bridge to go unimpeded. We then carved into the box, creating the covered outdoor space off the living room. The 2 thick table “legs” of the newly carved box now provide a niche to hide the bb1 grill and a hidden closet to store garden tools and the occasional wet suit.

Insert, slice, carve.

A new cast in place concrete boardwalk heads out of the new covered area and into the backyard, to enjoy the south summer sun. Plantings grace the new boardwalk along its edges to soften the vibes, hearkening to the sea grasses that line the weathered wooden pathways out at the ocean. Our clients spend a fair bit of time at the coast, surfing the waves and enjoying mother ocean.

Existing photo below after we ripped off the existing metal patio covering, some design images, and a snap of the final box in its place.


  • Contractor:: Ben Shook Construction
  • Completed:: Summer 2 016