Modern is Not a Crime

I have a confession to make. I love Modern architecture. For some reason, modern is not very popular in Bend. That’s not to say you can’t find it in Bend, but most of the modern homes in Bend are currently For Sale. They were either built as spec homes that aren’t selling or were custom built for someone that is now trying to sell but can’t seem to find an interested party. There are certainly people in Bend that appreciate the design but overall, Bend has not embraced modern architecture like other places such as Seattle and Southern California.

The modern development, Grandview, next to Newport Market is a perfect example. I was really excited to see those going in and thought it was a very refreshing change <!–[if gte vml 1]&gt; &lt;![endif]–><!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>from the Craftsman and NW Cascadian styles. Not only are they modern, they are eco-modern and estimated to use 54% less energy than a standard code built home. Other people seemed to think the development was “awful”, “hideous”, “the dumbest idea a developer in Bend has ever had”, and that they would “never sell.” Well, turns out they did not have much success, or any for that matter. They are now owned by the bank. I’m not sure if it’s because people did not embrace the idea of modern development or if it was the location. Newport is a busy street, which was probably a turn off for some, but it’s also a great location. They’re smack dab in the middle of several restaurants, coffee shops, and boutiques, and right next door to Newport Market. If you do like them, now is the time to buy them for a low price.

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This leads me to wonder what kind of success Newport Landing will have. Newport Landing is another modern project going in near the roundabout at Newport Ave. and College Way. They’re off the street a bit more and that might add to the appeal for some, but they have a lot in common with the other project. From the Newport Landing website, Newport Landing will display “a fresh approach to residential architecture. Homes are characterized by open room arrangements, abundant windows, inviting deck and terrace areas, and modern design features such as free standing stairways and wall mounted fireplaces. Stone, tile, glass and wood finishes add an attractive palette of textures and colors to create an atmosphere of comfort and enjoyment within homes that serve as the centerpiece of an active Central Oregon lifestyle.” Sign me up! I love it!

<!–[if gte vml 1]&gt; &lt;![endif]–><!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>I must say that I do prefer the type of modern architecture that blends in with its surroundings and seamlessly transitions from the outdoors to the indoors. The Newport project and Newport Landing both stand out enormously with their bright colors and flashy exteriors. Shevlin Reserve is more my style. The homes are situated on larger lots with trees and some have Cascade Mountain views. They are all single level (some floor plans have a few stairs) with generous interior spaces and that indoor-outdoor flow I was speaking of. The custom door/window system in the great room can be opened, literally bringing the outdoors in. Yeah, I could live there. View the Shevlin Reserve Virtual Tour here: http://media.homestore.com/HJMFQBVN.htm

<!–[if gte vml 1]&gt; &lt;![endif]–><!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>Now when I really start making money, I’ll move into one of JM Garren’s masterpieces. Not only do they build exquisite homes, they are clean and green. They use high-quality green, renewable materials and practices whenever possible. They incorporate ultra-efficient heating/cooling systems and appliances, wool carpets, low VOC paints, and they don’t use MDF (which contains formaldehyde based glues) in their cabinets. They built a mid-century modern single level home in Broken Top that’s currently available for $1,695,000.

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5 comments

  1. Jan Brockway · · Reply

    I love some of the more modern architecture, too, but you’re right: there just isn’t enough of an interested community in Bend to make it viable. I actually like the Grandview project too (and think it was extremely brave of the builders to attempt), but I think the problem is that they’re too exposed. Haven’t seen the inside, but from the outside they don’t look very private. We used to own dolo, the little modern store that was downtown, and while we had a really wonderful, appreciative, and loyal core group of customers, there weren’t enough of them to keep us in business. Maybe things would be different now, except that now we’re in this lousy economic dive…

  2. Brian · · Reply

    Modern is fine (for some people), but having large windows that open onto Newport Avenue or a major parking lot is just a stupid idea. It was a gimmick from the beginning. Even so, I’m surprised they couldn’t find four yuppies to move in and park their Prius’ in the alley. Hopefully this will send a message to the neo-Bendites that don’t know what Bend is really about. People around here want homes, not aquariums.

  3. Jeff D. · · Reply

    I think hideous sums up that Grandview photo nicely. I live in the Seattle area and think that similiar complexes going up in Redmond, WA are equally atrocious.

    I guess it’s a good thing that someone likes the style 🙂

  4. It was a brave but not well thought out or executed plan. To build houses like this you need to understand the market and the people coming into the market.

    People who are from Bend or moving to bend to get out of big cities want comfort and classic styles. Not items reminiscent of downtown seattle.

  5. I know I’m commenting on an older post, but do you happen to know who was the interior designer on Newport Landing?

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