Central Oregon’s Finest Modern Architecture
Central Oregon is known for its sense of romantic desolation and sheer natural beauty. This James Cutler design captures all that is awe-inspiring about the region and maximizes each and every aspect of the craggy peaks, deeply wooded forests and rocky, desert-like environs which surround it.
We love the idyllic location chosen for this distinctive luxury home, set atop a dramatic 1400-foot cliff, overlooking the Whychus Canyon Preserve.
Not only are you given a birds-eye view of the preserve, but with this home comes a private access, making it your personal reprieve from anything resembling the hustle and bustle of typical life.
This bit of modern architectural heaven not only resides on a scenic cliff but is also set on 41 acres of private property, defined by High Desert topography that envelops you in a sense of naturally created drama.
While it can be difficult to narrow down the list, perhaps one of our favorite aspects of the exterior design of this home, dubbed “Famous Tree,” is the way it seems to rise from the land that surrounds it, defining its existence.
We love that the design is clearly modern and streamlined, yet the use of natural materials serves as an homage to the importance the natural world and more specifically, Central Oregon, played in the design.
If you look at the aerial view of Famous Tree, you barely notice its existence, because it’s so perfectly in sync with the rugged elements that surround it.
We really love that while it is a luxurious, entirely modern property, it doesn’t become something that obstructs the natural beauty of the area. Instead, it works in sync with it and evokes a feeling of harmony, which is hard to find when you’re developing a bit of property as scenic as this one.
We appreciate the many different environments you get to experience here, from the craggy rocks of the cliff to the rich evergreen forests of the preserve, and in the distance the ethereal blue and white peaks of Oregon mountains.
A Design Defined By Glass
The feeling of being connected to the surrounding environment doesn’t stop with the exterior design at Famous Tree—it’s essential to the interior design.
You’ll see this as soon as you walk in and are greeted by entire walls of glass, linking you with 180-degree views of everything surrounding you. We are particularly in awe of the way in which James Cutler was able to maintain a sense of modernism, yet rustic elements also shine through in this design.
This luxurious modern design features two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a total of 2300 square feet. It was constructed in 2008.
As you walk into the open-concept living and dining area, you’ll see those walls of glass immediately. What we find uniquely compelling about Famous Tree, the finest example of modern architecture in Central Oregon, is that the entire atmosphere and design of the home can shift based on the season, the weather or even the time of day.
It’s a dynamic interior design, constantly shifting and changing, thanks to the use of glass.
The concept is one that’s clean, simple and focused on the surrounds, and the primary design element is wood. Straight lines are running vertically across the ceiling in the form of timber beams, and the light wood flooring extends through the entire home.
The way the light pours in causes the color tones of the wood to change throughout the day, as it picks up different rays from varying angles. It really is a fascinating approach to design that is always going to feel fresh, and never the same.
As you approach the kitchen, you’ll feel a certain sense of cohesion, which is refined, comforting and visually appealing. There are some European design elements in the kitchen, such as the custom-crafted wood cabinetry, and there’s also smartly hidden storage and a focus on efficiency.
Dark countertops contrast the light wood tones of the cabinets, and pendant lights and a sculptural sink faucet are compelling reminders of the modern aesthetic of Famous Tree.
Dark countertops contrast the light wood tones of the cabinets, and pendant lights and an artistic sink faucet are compelling reminders of the modern aesthetic of Famous Tree.
The dining area is a seamless link between the primary living area and the kitchen and is of course set against the backdrop of floor-to-ceiling windows framed by hand-crafted timber. More clever storage is located on the backside of the kitchen island.
A unique addition adds character to the living area, and that is a simple, compact stove set against the primary wall. It adds a rustic retreat-like element to Famous Tree and is a throwback to the rural homes found throughout Central Oregon.
We find the outdoor living space as captivating as the indoors at Famous. Tree, naturally. You’ll find yourself frequently stepping onto the stone patio that waits just off the living area, with steps leading down to your property.
It’ll be easy to imagine yourself using this as another dining area, or even a full entertaining space with seating and areas for relaxing or entertaining as you take in uninterrupted views which were likely what drew you to Famous Tree in the first place.
Even the wide corridors of this home take into account the power of the views. You’ll meander down the hallway leading to the bedrooms and on one side you’re flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows while the other side is a rustic feature wall. This wall is lined by art lights, and it would make an ideal gallery wall to display your collection.
Each of the bedrooms surrounds you with endless views. Aside from the timber beams and design details which draw from outdoor inspiration, there is very little that separates you from the views around you when you’re in the bedrooms.
Wood ceiling beams and plank floors carry on to the bedrooms, creating a feeling of continuity which we find is prevalent in most modern design.
The views will likely define the start and end of your day, you’ll quickly find at Famous Tree. We admire that nothing feels “overdone” in this home, which is not only indicative of the modern aesthetic but also the importance the outdoors holds in every element of the interior design as well as the exterior.
The bathrooms include vast windows, wide vanities, and deep, expansive basin sinks. They also boast distinctive features like timber feature walls, and the overall design is in-line with what you’ll see throughout the rest of the house. Step into the shower and unwind, without sacrificing the views you’ll immediately love when you first step foot into Famous Tree.
With a home like this, would you ever think there’d be even a single space without an eye toward the views? Of course not.
Even in the spacious laundry room and convenient gym you’re still privy to the scenery that turns this home from a modern masterpiece to an enviable oasis. The gym space can also be used as an office or an additional bedroom, and it’s connected to an outdoor terrace.
Clifftop Outdoor Living
Along with the general views and surroundings, the outdoor space is well-utilized at Famous Tree with a design that aims to fulfill a variety of purposes, from providing areas to relax and unwind, to serving as additional guest quarters.
While much of the 41 acres at 17965 Mountain View Road is left raw and unfinished to preserve its natural beauty, there are a few landscaped areas, including the grassy area surrounding the hot tub.
We absolutely love the use of the outdoors to create an additional guest quarters, in the form of a high-end tent. You’ll get a feel for camping, but at the same time, a sense of luxury is inherent in the design of this special guest room. You may even find yourself spending a few evenings here.
There is such a drama to the landscape at Famous Tree, and you’ll find unique areas throughout this sprawling property that you can tailor to your needs. You may find yourself enjoying a glass of wine atop a craggy cliff or meditating along the edge of a forest of evergreens.
We love that while it is modern, and representative of luxury living, the design of this home doesn’t seek to alter what defines it: the natural beauty. Rather, we find the way it becomes part of nature is what makes it unique and a home to cherish.
The Designs Career of James Cutler
James Cutler is one of the world’s most celebrated contemporary architects, and along with beauty, his designed are admired because they integrate concepts of sustainability, ecologically-minded choices of materials, and an overall consciousness of the earth and the environment which surrounds a property.
His designs center on local topography, and these elements play a pivotal role in the aesthetics of a home.
There is also an eye toward the uniqueness of each project, and his designs tend to display a sense of fluidity, depending on the circumstances and environment which surround them.
This particular home has been cited in news outlets including House + Garden, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast and International House + Design.
17365 Mountain View Road, Sisters, OR 97759
This ecologically-minded modern James Cutler design is currently on the market, for the first time since it’s construction. For more information about the Famous Tree Home, contact Pam Mayo-Phillips of Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty.
USD 2,350,000 I Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty
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