In Situ Architecture is steadily gaining a reputation for designing smart, beautiful, efficient buildings for the Pacific Northwest. 

Based in Portland, Oregon, In Situ Architecture was formed in 2008 by Jeff Stern.  A licensed architect in Oregon since 1996, Jeff earned his Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon, and a Bachelor of Environmental Design with Honors from the University of Colorado in Boulder.  A LEED accredited professional since 2002, Jeff has been a Certified Passive House Consultant since 2012 and completed his first certified Passive House in 2013.



We seek to create architecture that is site specific and grows out of the forces of a site and program. A deep understanding of the site and the program, acquired through analysis and experience, allows us to integrate the building seamlessly into the site. We look to capture the experience of a particular place; how the sunlight falls, and the rise and fall of the land. We want to preserve the natural context of the place, maintain and create strong views, maximize daylight and natural ventilation, and generally create a place better than when we began.


Our architecture is pragmatic in nature and modern in spirit. With strong ties to the traditions of modern northwest architecture, we work diligently to achieve an architecture that is clear, effortless, timeless, and without self-consciousness. Simple forms, natural materials, and straightforward details are utilized to reinforce the particular response to place.

Sustainability + Energy Efficiency

Our goal is to make truly sustainable buildings. We utilize an integrated approach that includes energy modeling as part of the design process, with an emphasis on simple cost effective and innovative strategies that provide multiple benefits.   We work to determine the most appropriate solutions, and to ensure that these strategies are effectively integrated and executed.  We find that one of the most effective ways to achieve ultra low energy buildings is using an approach called Passivhaus.  Passivhaus is one of the most rigorous energy efficiency standards and results in buildings with exceptional thermal comfort and superior air-quality while significantly reducing operating costs and reliance on fossil fuels.


Architecture is a creative act, and requires a careful balance between the analytical and the experiential. We explore all aspects of a design including practical issues such as program and structure, but also qualitative aspects that express the fundamental nature of the project and its surroundings. We believe that placing the client at the center of the creative process unlocks the potential of each project and generates beautiful and appropriate architectural solutions.