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Architect Uses Steel Arches to Create Portlandia House

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interior of steel arches for house in Oregon

This unique house sure does raise a few eyebrows around one Portland, Oregon neighborhood.

It was built as a standard Portland bungalow in 1941, but architect Edgar Papazian turned it into one of most creative pieces of architecture in Oregon. His goal was to make the home a living art piece that was as light and bright as possible. “We became the local neighborhood fascination,” says Papazian.

This home has been in several magazines and it is most popular for being used in the show called “Portlandia.” It was featured in an episode in which an alien fruit returned to space.

Papazian added a structural element onto his home that looks much like a metal eyebrow, which is how the home got its nickname the “eyebrow house.”

mid century modern style house with steel arch in background of backyard

He says the odd idea started with sketches he made of the home when he initially saw it.

Papazian wanted to add dormers to his small gable-roof home, but he did not want to make it look too heavy at the top. Using the SteelMaster arch to create a curve allowed him to make the house more visually streamlined while also providing livable, architectural-character space on the second level.

In the interior of the home is a true feast for the eyes. There are several futuristic pieces inside including the “Beam-us-up Scottie” fireplace, floor to ceiling windows, and of course SteelMaster’s curved arches.


This was Papazian’s first time using the arches. He had only ever seen the arches used at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York for a sound installation and at an office building.

He previously considered other options, but only SteelMaster’s arches offered the look he wanted within his budget.

After the arches were in, Papazian then added triple-glazed top metal extrusion windows to complement his new SteelMaster art!

It only took him one day to put up the arches after a few minor bumps in the road. He says although this project is doable for other homeowners, a little help from an architect and a structural engineer may be helpful to recreate the custom metal eyebrow look.