An icon of 80’s modern architecture, this home in Arlington Heights was originally designed by celebrated Portland architect Robert Thompson, founding principal of TVA Architects. Thompson is responsible for the design of many of the most prominent buildings throughout Oregon and the Pacific Northwest and is the recipient of over 45 awards for design excellence from the American Institute of Architects.

The home is sited in the middle of Washington Park’s Hoyt Arboretum Nature Preserve and right next to Portland’s beloved Wildwood Trail. This creates a fantastic juxtaposition of brilliant modern architecture immersed into nature. The approach to the home winds down a forested lane through the lush park to the small pocket neighborhood nestled inside.

Built in 1988, the home was commissioned concurrently during the early TVA work on the Nike World Campus, and has design sensibilities in common. These are expressed in refined and elegant ways, starting with the offset volumes, swooping curves and straight lines and floating walls of the front façade. Manicured landscaping offsets the assured geometry, then guides visitors through a custom front gate to an exterior entry court featuring a 36’ lap pool and a two-story curved glass block wall.

The home is composed of simple and elegant yet striking geometric forms featuring softly curved and quarter radius walls, architectural slotted reveals, open two-story ceilings with iconic oculus skylights, sweeping walls of glass block, tubular steel posts and railings and dramatic walls of glass.

The open layout of the three-level of the home is perfect for sensible modern living, both then-and-now. The pool courtyard, living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry and bath are on the main floor. A den with studio and primary ensuite is on the upper level, and two more bedrooms, another bath, family room and garage are on the lower level. Almost every room in the home has sizable windows facing either the forested arboretum in back or the pool courtyard in front.

Both the living and dining rooms are dramatic two-story open volumes that open up to the upper level living spaces. Each volume has soft curved feature walls with a sizable reveal line leading up to an impressive oculus skylight, allowing the light pour in and track through the room throughout the day like a sundial. On both the main and upper level you can actually also see from one end of the home to the other via the open layout, wall openings or clerestory windows.

The timeless design of Bob Thompson remains intact in this ’88 Mod time capsule and the impressive quality construction leaves the home in pristine condition today. Think architectural 80’s mod at its very finest including original built-in cabinetry, fixtures, finish details and even appliances – and every bit as modern now as they were then, including the built-in B & O stereo. If you’re a devotee of modern architecture and want a daily dose of inspiration and comfortable living immersed in nature, this home might be the one for you.

Co-listed by Jeff Weithman and Marcia Weiss at (W)here Real Estate.


MLS #:  24260500
Architect: Robert Thompson, Founding principal of TVA Architects
Neighborhood: Arlington Heights
County: Multnomah
2021 Taxes: $26,303 / 2023


Year Built: 1988
Square Footage: 3,727 sqft
Lot Size: .2 acres
Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 3


Elementary: Ainsworth
Middle: West Sylvan
High: Lincoln