Robert Harvey Oshatz is an American architect, designer, and speaker. His firm, Robert Harvey Oshatz, Architect, was established in 1971 and has been involved in a wide variety of organic architecture, planning, interior design and construction management services for developers and individual clients designed approximately structures.
In my opinion, Oshatz design style can be described as contemporary but not in the way that many commonly associate contemporary design. I.e. white, rectangular shapes, stark, minimalist. Rather his style is more whimsically organic in the sense that his structures frequently take on irregular contours which are often a combination of soft circular and rectangular edges. He also likes to use very warm, rich, and often organic materials like wood and warmer paints. Furthermore, his compositions tend to take elements from the surrounding environment that corresponds to trends in green/sustainable architecture. For instance, the shape of houseboat reflects the ripples of the water. Another consistency that I’ve observed in his style that he is unafraid of using height in his designs tends to incorporate the structure into the sight on varying levels. Sometimes they tower over and try to be one with the view, like in the Rosenthal residence in Portland, Oregon. Other times, they melt more into the scenery, like the residential home in Salem , Oregon, only to stand out because the use of color or an irregular shape.
An interesting tidbit is that for a short time while he was in architecture school he studied under the great American master Frank Lloyd Wright, Jr. However, while he may have learned/ been influenced by him, he says he does not necessarily subscribe to any design theory. Rather, Oshatz describes himself as a generalist with a traditional design approach. His process begins with the clients program in which he places a heavy emphasis on developing a relationship and dialogue with the client in order to go beyond their vision by “embodying their emotional needs.” Oshatz also takes the surrounding site environment into consideration. He believes that every sight has its own sort of poetry to it and his intention behind the majority of his structures is to extract characteristics from that environment and incorporate them into the design. He then tries to clear his mind of previous solutions and preconceived notions and approach design intuitively. He goes on to use plan, section, and elevations to map out a course of action. He then starts from the space on the inside and then he works his way out making the outside reflect what is going on in the inside.
Take a look at his work here and let me know what you think: