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On a steep slope, they found space for outdoor entertaining and an exercise room.

Houses on slopes often share a dilemma: you enter on the upper level, walk through the interior, and step out onto a modest deck perched on spindly supports, with the back garden lying far below, seemingly inaccessible from such lofty heights.

That was originally the case with this two-story house in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Owners Dolores and Armand Smith wanted more outside entertaining space, and they also wanted an exercise room. Portland architect Ernest Goble removed the old deck and its supports, then built a 16- by 24-foot exercise room in its place on the lower floor. On the roof of that room, he added a deck at the level of the second-story living room. Goble then wrapped a larger, bilevel deck complete with a sheltering pergola around the exercise room.

A stairway, faced with vertical cedar siding, projects from the house to link the upper and lower decks. The vertical siding let Goble design a curved end for the connecting stairs. The outside of the exercise room is covered with the same horizontal siding used on the house.

Since rainy weather is a frequent visitor here, an 8-foot-square pergola with removable fabric roof lets the owners sit outside on drizzly days. The roof is made of blue acrylic fabric; snaps around the edges hold it in place. The pergola notches into the lower deck where the deck drops four steps to almost ground level. Its inside walls serve as backrests above cantilevered benches, while the outside wing wall provides space for built-in benches and planters.
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Date:Nov 1, 1990
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