Categories: Business

Robert Henry Oshatz: Architect

If you want to experience a rush without any drugs, turn your browser to oshatz.com.

Enter the wondrous world of Portland architect Robert Harvey Oshatz. You might think you’ve fallen into the rabbit hole. Each is a commissioned piece of art—a place that people live, work or go to worship.

Oshatz designs around “the poetry of a site” and the personality of the client. Some structures are flowing and sensuous, others sharp and edgy. “When the building is at peace with the environment, the people inside are at peace,” he says.

The client is the reason for the project, he emphasizes. “I try to give the client everything he wants rather than imposing how I want to live in the space. All dreams should be fulfilled.”

His own Portland home is shaped like a ship’s bow, built in the 1980s on a steep hillside overlooking the Willamette River. The interior is spacious and light, with few traditional walls. His design process involves putting preconceived notions aside and starting fresh. He does the interior floor plans first. “If you take care of the inside, the outside takes care of itself,” he says. His goal is to blur the division between interior and exterior. The result is unconventional master craft.

During an apprenticeship in the late 1960s with Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, he learned that architecture could be an art, not just a business. He then immersed himself in the organic movement in American architecture.

Today he has projects around the globe, extending his influence far beyond the Pacific Northwest. Regardless of location, he tries to source building materials locally. “Sustainable or green architecture is just good design,” he says.

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