Sky Island Estate
Portland, Oregon, United States
The penthouse apartment has always been synonymous with luxury. It’s the apex, the trophy, the most stylish and exclusive of metropolitan residences. There is something impressive about pressing that PH button and the elevator doors opening to the exclusive residence at the top of the building. Live here, it says, and you’ve arrived, in every sense of the word.
Sitting like a crown jewel atop the John Ross building in Portland’s South Waterfront, this exceptional penthouse boasts some of the most spectacular views in all of the Pacific Northwest. From its commanding perch 325 feet up on the 31st floor, a full 360 degrees of mountains, rivers, city lights, and bridges, the most iconic Portland scenery, is visible as far as the eye can see. From the floor-to-ceiling windows inside and the 360 degree, 2,094 sq. foot outdoor patio, everything that makes our Pacific Northwest uniquely wonderful is the incredible backdrop to every room in this only full-floor penthouse with a private elevator in Portland.
This lofty 4, 865 sq. Foot home is a showcase of luxury design filled with rich textures, dramatic colors, and natural materials that come together to create an opulent atmosphere that feels like a sumptuous boutique hotel; a place to escape, feel pampered, and indulge your senses. With a graceful layout as well-suited to entertaining as it is for relaxing with friends and family, this is a private haven amid the city.
Built-in an elliptical shape that mimics the sculptural glass structure of the building, the home’s layout was designed so that the view could be experienced from each room. From the moment the private elevator’s doors open, the overall design of this stylish rooftop home begins to unfold. The homeowner, who is an interior designer worked closely with Domov I.D. lead designer Stefan Krupelak to hand-select every element of the home’s finishes and furnishings, many directly from showrooms in Milan, as the space underwent a complete overhaul over the past five years. Through the use of a minimal number of natural materials, primarily varieties of prized stone and wood, the design is a beautifully curated collection of textures and dimensions that is inviting and luxurious.
As you step through the elevator doors framed by a wide border of Arabascoto Italian marble, the jaw-dropping living room beckons from the end of the central corridor. Bookmatched walnut paneling with a bronze inlay extends the length of the hallway which features a raised ceiling with a stepped structure that is mirrored on the inlaid marble floor below. Ideal for wall art display and quiet conversation space during a cocktail party, the corridor walls are lined with bar-height Absolute Black granite wedges that rise from the floor for drinks or art objects.
The corridor ends and the space dramatically opens into a breathtaking living room where the wall of windows showcases a stunning view of Mt. Hood. This gorgeous room is the perfect spot for entertaining and enjoying 180 degrees of unobstructed views to the west. A sea urchin-inspired bronze chandelier imported from Japan hangs above the living room which has doors on either side leading out to the 360-degree wraparound patio allowing guests to seamlessly mingle inside and out.
Off the living room is a more intimate lounge with built-in burl wood and soapstone console and open shelving that serves as an entertainment center. This comfortable room, done in tones of bronze, gold, and champagne, is perfect for watching sports or movies or for quiet evenings with friends and family. Lush, flocked wallpaper highlights the full bar that is easily accessed from both the lounge and living room. The bar cabinetry is a custom-fabricated creation of snakeskin wallpaper infused between layers of glass conceived by craftsmen at the Pacific Design Center. Smoked glass and bronze shelves for bottle and glassware display made by Portland’s Kinnell Steelworks hang above. The bar includes an ice maker, fridge, dishwasher and sink as well as ample counter space for hors d’oeuvres and snacks.
On the opposite side of the living room are the dining room and wine cellar. This arc of rooms: the living room, lounge and dining room, combine to create an entertaining space large enough to accommodate a large group while also working individually for smaller gatherings and hanging out with family. This flexibility in design is one of the most unique things about this home – it can be the setting for an elegant dinner party one night and a family breakfast the next morning.
The dining room features a burnished wallpaper with a ginkgo leaf design and a striking chandelier inspired by one the homeowner admired in the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas. The custom-built dining table from Roche Bobois has a smoked glass top with a marble base, it is simple in its elegant design. One corner of the dining room houses the glass-enclosed wine cellar. This climate-controlled space houses and displays 600 bottles and has enough space for a tasting table and chairs. The marble mosaic tile on the floors and walls and wood shelving are simple materials that have a big, visual impact.
Next door, the kitchen is an open space with a design perfectly fitting with the home’s upscale ambiance. A wall of seamless, white lacquer custom cabinetry is a stunning contrast to the ceiling-height, bookmatched slabs of Ciopllini marble installed behind the seven-burner Miele range. This incredible focal point resembles an enormous geode and adds a dramatic dimension to the sleek, modern space. The waterfall counter is a combination of slab walnut and concrete fabricated by Concrete Elegance in Bend and doubles as a breakfast bar that seats four with room for a high chair. Industrial-style shelving hangs above the counter for storage and display. The patio can also be accessed from the kitchen making it easy for everything from casual meals to catering outside. This great room-style space also includes a comfortable family room with a recessed spot for a tv and built-in storage.
One of the more clever elements of the layout of the home is the ability to close off the bedrooms from the public areas and elevator adding an additional element of privacy. Sound isn’t an issue either with the main corridor creating a buffer of sorts to allow kids or early-to-bed guests peace and quiet even amidst a party.
The master suite can be accessed two ways, from a doorway off the entrance hall leading into the home office and from the lounge, leading into the bedroom. Either way, this large retreat is beautifully and thoughtfully designed to showcase the views while surrounded by deluxe amenities and designer finishes. Take in the sunset over the West Hills from the bedroom where moody Parchment wallpaper from London’s Designer Guild creates a serene backdrop for enjoying lazy weekend mornings or taking in the lights of the city at night. Step out the private door to the patio to greet the day or toast the evening. Here and throughout the home, rich textiles with blackout lining and Lutron roller shades are controlled by a Crestron system that enables opening and closing the drapes, lighting, and climate control with the touch of a button.
Designed to be a luxurious sanctuary, the master bath, and dressing area feature an Absolute Black marble wainscot with Jean-Paul Gautier wallpaper hand-selected in Milan hanging above. The oversized frameless glass shower has walls of Snow White marble and a herringbone tile floor with a rain shower head and bench. The rose gold vessel sinks and faucets are Gessi, imported from Italy, and the mirrors above are a custom fabrication. The unique funnel-shaped lighting from Netherlands-based Pieter Adam is a perfect match to the rose gold fixtures. A gorgeous freestanding tub is made of Absolute Black marble. By using the same materials in different applications throughout the home, the design feels cohesive and modern. The Art Deco-inspired Black Edition fabric by Romo was used for the drapery and served as an overall inspiration for the space.
The master suite also includes a home office that does a bit of double duty with a wall of sleek extra storage. A built-in l-shaped desk provides plenty of room to spread out and get some work done while enjoying the view. The three-level Kundalini light fixture that hangs above is from the showroom in Milan.
The unique ring layout means there are very few doors because the rooms flow naturally from one to the next. Despite their limited numbers, special attention was given to the art deco-inspired doors that have a hand-routed detail by Portland Millwork and classic brass doorknobs from Chown Hardware. The doors are further enhanced by thick frames of Arabascoto Italian marble that add an additional level of drama to the front hallway.
The three guest bedrooms and main powder bath are all located off the front hallway. The powder bath is perfectly fitting for formal occasions and features a granite countertop imported from Brazil that has an unusual leather-like texture with a vessel sink that sits under a beveled frame mirror. The wallpaper and light fixture are Kelly Wearstler. The bedrooms are all oversized and include an ensuite bath. The designer/homeowner chose to use the same pattern of Anne Sacks wallpaper in all of the three ensuite baths, each in its own colorway. This creates a cohesive design with a unique flavor for each room, much like a boutique hotel.
Bedroom one features the gold on white colorway its ensuite bath. Quartzite countertops, a Gessi Italian sink, and mosaic tile with a fan motif complete the space. The second bedroom was designed as a children’s bedroom with soft grey fabric wallpaper and whimsical accents. In this room, the white on white colorway and polka dot tile was used. In the third bedroom, the bathroom features the black and gold colorway.
The John Ross, named after a British Royal Navy officer and explorer, was developed by Gerding Edlen and Williams and Dame developers and built by Hoffman Construction. The 303-unit building is LEED gold-certified and was the first in the area to reach the maximum 325 ft height allowed. Designed by TVA Architects, the building was intended to highlight the beauty of the surrounding river and actively embrace the natural landscape. Development of the South Waterfront area was modeled after the Vancouver, B.C. skyline with buildings that are taller and thinner than standard with a smaller footprint, giving more visibility around the buildings to create a more community atmosphere. The area is known for its Greenway Trail for walking, its Farmer’s Market, and easy access to the Portland Streetcar.
The penthouse comes with four reserved parking spaces, 2 tandem and 2 solo spots as well as a storage room with racks for organization. The John Ross has 24/7 concierge service, a fitness center, shared outdoor space on the fifth floor as well as two reservable community rooms.
It’s believed that Conde Nast, the American publisher, and business magnate, first brought the idea of the penthouse into vogue in New York City. He built his penthouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and hosted lavish parties that became the envy of high society. Before New York’s rooftops were bleak, filled with pipes, chimneys and water towers but once people realized the views from the top were unmatched, the atmosphere was quieter and the air fresher, the penthouse apartment was born. Today, the penthouse address carries a sense of prestige and exclusivity that will never go out of style. This crown jewel of the John Ross building is the perfect home where you can live in luxury and enjoy iconic scenery that makes Portland and the Northwest such a special place to live.