Take a tour of the architectural diversity in Bend, Oregon’s Discovery West

If you’ve been lucky enough to take a little tour through the first few phases of Discovery West in person, you probably noticed: no two houses are alike. This was part of the master plan of the Bend, Oregon neighborhood to ensure diversity in our streetscape. Instead of a traditional approach to a neighborhood, with only a few set floor plans and styles all built by the same builder, Discovery West has engaged 19 different professional builders as part of our Builders Guild. Each one of these construction companies has their own individual take on creating homes in the neighborhood. 

In our latest video installment, Dale Van Valkenburg, the Director of Planning for Brooks Resources who was part of the development team for Discovery West and a member of our Architectural Review Committee (ARC), takes you on a walking tour of the Bend, Oregon neighborhood. Under his expert guidance, viewers of the short video gain a high-level understanding of some of the architectural styles that are housed within our community.

Just a few of those styles include:

Craftsman – Originating in the Arts and Crafts Movement, this style emphasizes natural materials like wood, stone and brick, generally with wide front porches and low-pitched gable roofs. Dale calls attention to the exposed rafter tails and the variety in the siding choices on a classic example of this popular style in the neighborhood.

Farmhouse – Historically built for need rather than design, this style is very functional, with large inviting porches serving as transition spaces between outdoor and indoor life. Other features usually include tall, narrow windows, steeper roof pitches and a focus on simplicity. Dale calls it “classic and timeless.”

Mid-century modern – As its name suggests, this style began its upward climb in popularity in the late 1940s and 50s. It is characterized by simplicity both in design and in the materials used in the home, with many “flat planes”, open spaces and large windows. On the video, Dale shows a home with “minimal adornment” and large blade-shaped chimney, indicative of the style.

Tudor – Originating in England, this is probably one of the easiest styles to identify and recognize. Steep, multi-gabled roofs, good for our snowy winters, and decorative half-timber framing make it hard to miss. A rather “romantic” design, Tudor style homes often have elaborate entrances, large chimneys and casement or transom windows.

Colonial Revival – There are many different types of Colonial architecture, and the Revival style brings in elements from many of them. A very “American” style, it is known for its symmetry, evenly spaced windows with shutters, columns around the entrance and a more formal approach to design. 

Prairie – The famous Frank Lloyd Wright created this style, which is practical and straightforward. Emphasizing horizontal lines, including long flat roof lines for both first and second stories, Prairie-style homes usually have rows of windows and an organic feeling. Unlike other styles, this one does not usually have a significant front porch, but rather a simple, sheltered entry. 

Of course, knowing our group of builders are a creative bunch, we also have a category called “other” in which they can propose their own style and the ARC reviews it for the “essential elements” of the particular style they’ve chosen.

In the video, Dale showcases homes that fall into some of these categories, highlighting their standout features and which styles have been most popular in the neighborhood so far. From the large, inviting front porch of the Farmhouse to the sleek simplicity of the Mid-Century Modern, there’s really a style for everyone in Discovery West.

Dale talks a bit in the video about how the architectural review process benefits the community as a whole, and continues to be a positive experience for those involved. He says, “The end result is a neighborhood that has a lot of variety, but also has a high consistency of quality and  attention to detail…it has a feeling that is much more like an established older neighborhood in Bend, not at all cookie cutter. I love the variety that we end up with here.” 

View the video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YKiaJDT-tY