Hillsdale Deck

Portland, OR

836 SF
Multilevel Outdoor Living
There is something satisfying about having a beautiful backyard for relaxing and entertaining. This client was lacking such satisfaction due to an unusable steeply sloped yard with giant trees and minimal access points.
The stair enclosure at the Hillsdale Deck features a custom curved design.

The new Hillsdale Deck connects all three levels of the site.
This is a photo of the site of the Hillsdale Deck prior to construction. It was empty and people were unable to access all the levels.
The stairs at the Hillsdale Deck are crafted with ipe-wood. The vertical enclosure walls are black-stained cedar.

The clients wanted a deck experience at both the kitchen and basement levels, a connection to the lower yard, and a hot tub, an outdoor shower, and a fire pit. Accommodating all of these needs was an exercise in 3-dimensional space planning.

A new door was added to connect the existing kitchen to the deck at the upper level. Space for grilling and dining was located above while comfortable seating was accommodated at the lower basement level. A carefully considered staircase connects the decks and then opens up as it reaches down to the yard. The hot tub and outdoor shower are readily accessible from the lower deck and a screened wall thoughtfully conceals unsightly HVAC equipment.

Meeting needs and exceeding expectations.

This is a GIF of the Hillsdale Deck being cut through at each level of elevation.
The lower level of the Hillsdale Deck has a custom gas fireplace.

The design is more than meets the eye. The essential crux to this arrangement was minimizing the intersecting paths as people move up and down between decks or from one area to the next. The bounds of each zone help shape the overall space.

Standard wall framing dimensions were used as the foundation and wrapped with a screen wall of stick elements that provide visual texture and movement. The design reinforces the rhythm of activities in each area while supporting efficiencies, such as using the space under the upper deck for outdoor storage and hiding the HVAC equipment—accessible through a secret door.

The Hillsdale deck features and outdoor shower and a custom ipe-wood bench.
The Hillsdale Deck features a hot tub and an outdoor shower.
The Hillsdale Deck features an outdoor shower with towel hooks crafted from the same material as the enclosure.

The striking palette incorporates Ipe decking, black stained cedar and custom steel guardrail and cable rail infill.

This deck area maximizes the enjoyment of this home inside and out. Now the backyard is more than a treed hill view, it is the epitome of outdoor living.

The hidden door at the Hillsdale Deck is barely visible when closed.
A hidden door in the stair wall provides access to a storage area underneath the Hillsdale Deck.

“We couldn’t be happier with the design Christie Architecture did for our backyard deck. Even though I’m a contractor and was tempted to design it myself, I’m so glad we got Adam involved, as the result is way beyond anything I came up with. Without a doubt we would hire them again.”

Mike A.


The Hillsdale Deck is crafted from ipe wood. The guardrail is a custom guardrail fabricated from black powder-coated steel and infilled with cable rail.