ONOMA designs prefabricated 'west bar' house for the remote pacific northwest

ONOMA designs prefabricated 'west bar' house for the remote pacific northwest

west bar house floats above a sloping landscape


American studio ONOMA Architecture takes to the postcard landscape of Washington to design this West Bar house, a residence planned to serve the outdoor-oriented lifestyle of the Pacific Northwest. Currently under construction, the home will be built with a resilient structure of oxidized steel, to be prefabricated and stilted over the sloping terrain. This way it will withstand the harsh climatic conditions of the once-glacial landscape while sensitively occupying its site. The dwelling will overlook the Columbia River, carved over time by sweeping floods over vast, ancient lava flows.


The interiors gaze broadly out toward sweeping western views of the river, the kitchen and living area opening onto a 360-square-foot cantilevered ‘sunset deck’ which seems to float over the earth. Below, a lower level steps downward to follow the steep topography and houses guest rooms and a spa.

west bar onoma architectureimages © Notion Workshop@notionworkshop



a prefab structure for a remote washington site


ONOMA Architecture worked in collaboration with local practice Delta Architects to design its West Bar house. The dramatic landscape greatly informed the design, calling for a structure which would elevate the home over its slope and minimize excavation work. Emphasizing the importance of this steel structure, the architects left it exposed as an expressive exterior element. A difficult on-site construction would be unavoidable with the remoteness of the area. With this in mind, the team developed the steel frame as a kit-of-parts to be fabricated off-site, delivered, and quickly assembled. The entire 3,200-square-foot home will be enclosed by a single sloping roof. This element is designed as an array of repeating timber beams, which will also precisely fabricated off-site.


The residence’s materials were carefully chosen to endure the challenging weather conditions of the location. A sheet steel skin will act as a durable outer layer that will develop a natural patina as it weathers over time, thus requiring minimal maintenance. Meanwhile, exposed timber beams and wooden interior finishes will lend warmed and softened interiors.

west bar onoma architecture
a sheet steel skin will act as a durable outer layer that will develop a natural patina over time



the passive design by onoma architecture


ONOMA Architecture orients the interiors of its West Bar house toward the west, framing the scenic views and inviting natural sunlight. Meanwhile, the eastern hillside ensures privacy and provides a shield from the elements. A solitary, elevated clerestory window that spans the entirety of the eastern facade is positioned above the indoor staircase, enables the house to be naturally cooled, reducing reliance on energy-demanding mechanical systems. The roof and slants westward to shelter the overhanging deck from rainfall. This enclosure further shades the indoor spaces from intense solar exposure in the summer. Concrete flooring serves as a heat-absorbing mass in the colder months, effectively warming the home without an active heating system.

west bar onoma architecture
the dwelling overlooks the Columbia River to the westwest bar onoma architecture
a cantilevering ‘sunset deck’ appears to float above the sloping terrainwest bar onoma architecturethe single sloping roof is prefabricated as an array of timber beams


interiors are warmed and softened with natural timber finishes

west bar onoma architecturethe lower level will house guest rooms and a spa


the home is designed to be heated and cooled with passive strategies

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