Posts tagged with "Portland":

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Our studio visit with Michael Green Architecture

Michael Green Architecture (MGA) is a leader in the design of mass timber structures. The firm, jointly based in Portland, Oregon, and British Columbia, Canada, has been a pioneer in mass timber construction since the early days of glulam. Now, as mass timber technologies proliferate and gain wider acceptance, MGA is poised to make the next great leap in mass timber construction: full-fledged mass timber automation and prefabrication. “All of our projects are made from wood,” Michael Green explained over telephone, before adding that 95 percent of the firm’s work is specifically built using mass timber. The approach is due mostly to preference, as Green is a trained millworker who began his career decades ago working for renowned architect César Pelli designing “big buildings in steel and concrete around the world.” Those whirlwind experiences left the architect starved for ways to reengage with natural materials and craft, so after returning to his native Canada, Green opened his own wood-focused office. Throughout the early mass timber era, the architect was among the first to consider its widespread use and architectural potential. Today, the office focuses on utilizing mass timber elements in a variety of building types—for example, when tight urban conditions call for compact and efficient structures. The firm also works with institutional clients seeking long-term facilities and “100-year” buildings, which mass timber can easily provide. Green sees working in mass timber as “an opportunity to insert a lot of passion” into building projects that work as explorations in industrial design and are planned with a keen understanding of how they will be put together. This industrialized construction process suits Green, who explained that construction remains the last “major industry left on Earth that is still craft-oriented,” meaning that every building is built essentially as a one-off, custom prototype with none of the cost-saving benefits of industrialized factory production. That’s where mass timber comes in—building components are produced to order in controlled factory settings, where weather, temperature, and other variables are tightly relegated. The firm is currently working with technology start-up Katerra, which is looking to utilize the potentials of mass timber to automate and integrate the construction process nationwide. Wood Innovation and Design Centre MGA recently completed work on the Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George, British Columbia. At the time of its completion, the nearly 97-foot-tall, six-story structure was the tallest all-timber structure in the world. The lower three floors of the project contain facilities for students pursuing wood-focused engineering degrees while the upper floors house governmental and wood industry–related office spaces. The building is clad in an elaborate system of louvered wood shutters that are optimized by exposure to mitigate solar glare. Aside from the structure’s mechanical penthouse, there is no concrete used in the building. Instead, the “dry” structure integrates CLT floor panels, glulam columns and beams, and mass timber walls into a complex design that conceals electrical and plumbing services within its relatively thin floor panels. North Vancouver City Hall The renovation and expansion of a municipal City Hall structure in North Vancouver, British Columbia, is one of the firm’s earliest mass timber projects. The 36,000-square-foot renovation bridges a repurposed 1970s-era structure and an existing library building with a new double-height mass timber and glass atrium. The 220-foot-long space is topped with CLT roof joists propped up on large CLT columns. Where the atrium meets the existing offices, clerestory windows provide views between public and business areas. The exterior of the long and narrow addition is clad in charred wood—a material that also wraps the exterior surfaces of other building elements—creating a new and dramatic exterior courtyard. Empire State of Wood As part of MGA’s early mass wood experiments, the firm worked with Finnish wood and paper group Metsä Wood on their speculative wood initiative. For the project, the firm was tasked with redesigning an iconic steel structure using mass timber elements. Naturally, MGA chose to envision the Empire State building as a mass timber tower, replacing steel girders and beams with glulam structures joined by metal plates. With slight modifications to the existing tower’s structural design, MGA was able to pull off a mass timber replica that matched the Empire State Building’s height inch for inch. Réinventer Paris/Baobab Tower The firm’s Réinventer Paris project proposes a large-scale, 35-story mass timber tower complex that would span over Paris’s Peripherique highway belt. The innovative and speculative proposal attempts to explore a new model for high-density housing that encompasses a variety of functional uses—market-rate and social housing, a student-oriented hotel, and a bus depot—dispersed throughout a series of high- and midrise timber structures. The timber towers feature CLT columns that frame indoor-outdoor verandas, with lower buildings clad in wood louver assemblies.  
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The country’s tallest timber building wraps up in Portland

As the race heats up to demonstrate that timber is a viable alternative to concrete for mid and high-rise buildings, Portland, Oregon, has been leading the way in realizing mass timber projects. The latest to claim the country’s tallest timber building crown is Carbon12, an 85-foot tall mixed-use building in Portland, designed by PATH Architecture. Built with a mix of glulam beams and cross-laminated timber (CLT) surrounding a central steel core, the eight-story building was designed to have a minimal environmental impact and promote Oregon’s local timber industry. As downtown Portland addresses a growing demand for housing, timber projects constructed with prefabricated CLT panels cut off-site, like Carbon12, hold a speed advantage over traditional steel and concrete techniques. Carbon12 features a mix of 14 residential units, each with their own recessed balcony, as well as retail on the ground floor and a mechanized underground parking system. While the exterior is clad in vertically striated metal paneling that recalls timber grain, PATH chose to accentuate the natural materials of the interior spaces by leaving the wood columns, beams, and undersides of the CLT slabs exposed for a warmer feel. PATH’s focus on sustainability as a requirement in part drove their decision to use timber for Carbon12. Because locally grown timber can sequester more carbon dioxide than is used to grow and transport the wood, it often has a smaller carbon footprint in production than steel or concrete. Carbon12 will also feature solar panels on the roof. Although Carbon12 is currently the tallest timber building in the U.S., it won’t be for long. The 148-foot tall, 12-story Framework building, also in Portland, is shooting to take the title once it finishes in winter of 2018. Designed by LEVER Architecture and the Framework Project, Framework will feature a wood core as opposed to steel. Still, as timber buildings continue to push higher and higher, they may be paving the way for the eventual acceptance of timber as a mainstream urban construction material. Carbon12 is now fully complete and units are available on the market.
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2017 Best of Design Awards for Research

2017 Best of Design Award for Research: Snapping Facade Designer: Jin Young Song (University at Buffalo, Dioinno Architecture) Location: Conceptual

Snapping Facade explores a sustainable design strategy that utilizes elastic instability to create dynamic motion at the building envelope. The current dynamic shading systems adopt either glass enhancement or motorized mechanical movement. This study introduces snapping-induced motion as an alternative actuation mechanism to control apertures, and proposes Snapping Facade as a new dynamic shading system. Based on analytical and numerical study, the researchers fabricated the assembly of a prototype snapping facade and validated the hand-operated snapping motion. The proposed snapping facade suggests a novel way to recycle the strain energy stored in structures via elastic instability.

"This is a novel idea that could serve as a precursor for more facade-related projects in the future." —Matt Shaw, senior editor, The Architect's Newspaper (juror)
Project engineer: Jongmin Shim Research team: William Baptiste, Jing Jiang, Hakcheol Seo, Andrew Koudlai   Honorable Mention Project: The Framework Project Architect: Lever Architecture with the Framework Project Location: Portland, Oregon Framework is a 90,000-square-foot, 12-story project that is slated to become the first wood high-rise in the U.S. Approval for the project required 40 tests to demonstrate mass timber’s fire, structural, and seismic safety. The testing data will be made public to support a regulatory path for high-rise wood structures and encourage wider adoption of mass timber in the U.S.
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2017 Best of Design Awards for Office & Retail

2017 Best of Design Award for Office & Retail: Albina Yard Architect: LEVER Architecture Location: Portland, Oregon

Albina Yard is the first building in the United States made from domestically fabricated cross-laminated timber (CLT). This new 16,000-square-foot speculative office building utilizes mass timber construction, with a glue-laminated timber frame and CLT panels manufactured and prefabricated in Riddle, Oregon. The project’s primary goal was to utilize domestic CLT in a market-rate office building that would pave the way for broader adoption of renewable mass timber construction technologies in Oregon and the United States. The design approach reflects a commitment to this sustainable technology by developing an architecture focused on economy and simplicity, material expression, and the careful resolution and integration of all building systems to foreground the beauty of the exposed Douglas fir structural frame.

“As a structural strategy, mass timber is very similar to a cast-in-place concrete structure in terms of layout and function of its individual elements. The main difference is the character and humaneness of the remaining spaces.  It is very well-suited for this type of use.” —Nathaniel Stanton, principal, Craft Engineer Studio (juror) General Contractor: Reworks Structural Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers CLT Supplier: DR Johnson Lumber CNC Routing: Cut My Timber   Honorable Mention Project: Cummins Indy Distribution Headquarters Architect: Deborah Berke Partners Location: Indianapolis, Indiana This new office building reinforces an active pedestrian experience that is connected to downtown Indianapolis and its parkland. The unusually slender floorplan and high ceilings provide abundant natural daylight for every space and minimize reliance on electricity. A high-performance “calibrated” facade and an integrated system of fins and shades limit heat gain and increase thermal comfort.   Honorable Mention Project: Zurich North America Headquarters Architect: Goettsch Partners Location: Schaumburg, Illinois Located on a 40-acre expressway site in suburban Chicago, the North American headquarters of the Swiss Zurich Insurance Group reflects the company’s global reach and commitment to sustainability. Composed of three primary “bars” that are offset and stacked, the arrangement creates unique spaces for collaboration, opens views of the surrounding landscape, optimizes solar orientation for amenities, and provides programmatic flexibility.
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Portland shoots for the region’s tallest buildings with twin towers proposal

A recently proposed pair of twin towers by Portland, Oregon–based William Kaven Architecture (WKA) could become the tallest buildings in Oregon and among the tallest structures on the West Coast if built according to current plans. WKA is proposing a pair of diagrid-framed structures on a site formerly occupied by a regional U.S. Postal Service headquarters in Portland's Pearl District, with one of the towers rising 970 feet high. The towers would be connected near their apexes by a monumental sky bridge. The tower’s so-called “botanical bridge” would sit roughly 680 feet above grade according to current plans. The towers will also feature mid-body planted terraces and will be connected along the ground floor by a public park. The sky-bridge would create a new tourist destination for the city, according to the architects, on par with Seattle’s Space Needle and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. If completed, however, the tower's height would still fall a good deal behind the Wilshire Grand in Los Angeles by AC Martin and the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco by Pelli Clarke Pelli, which rise 1,099- and 1,070-feet high, respectively, due to their spires. The project site was recently purchased for $88 million by Prosper Portland, a local urban renewal agency that is seeking to turn the site into a mixed-use apartment hub, Willamette Week reports. In a recent Op-Ed for DJC Oregon, WKA principal Daniel Kaven laid out the argument for the firm’s twin tower proposal, calling the scheme a lynchpin for regional efforts to “fundamentally transform how people live in the [Pacific] Northwest” by creating an iconic, high-density node on a prominent urban site. In the article, Kaven argues that the region will likely see an influx of new residents as other regions across the country become burdened by climate change–related afflictions. The time to begin preparing for the influx of climate refugees is now—according to Kaven—and high-rise developments could provide a practical solution for adding more housing while also relieving residents of their cars. Kaven added:
“The towers are large enough to serve as a headquarters for a Fortune 100 company, such as Amazon, and would anchor the entire district both architecturally and financially. The towers and interlinking skybridge would be an iconic addition to Portland’s skyline and a destination for locals and tourists alike. The elevated garden would be a tropical respite from the gray of the city at any time of the year and provide breathtaking views of Mt. Hood and the entire city skyline.”
For now, the WKA scheme remains just that—Prosper Portland began project solicitation earlier this month via an RFP, which is due January 19, 2018.
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Lever Architecture crafts a mass timber office building in North Portland

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In Portland, Oregon, even the buildings are bespoke and locally-sourced. At least, that’s the case with Lever Architecture’s Albina Yard project, where the developer—Portland-based Reworks—tasked the architects with creating a marquee structure that could be used as a testing site and showroom for emerging mass timber systems built from locally-sourced lumber.
  • Facade Manufacturer Sierra Pacific
  • Architects LEVER Architecture
  • Facade Installer REWORKS (contractor); Dallas Glass (windows)
  • Facade Consultants KPFF Consulting Engineers (facade engineering)
  • Location Portland, OR
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System Glulam columns and beams with CLT floor/ceiling panels
  • Products Sierra Pacific Architectural Wall System; Douglas Fir mullions with a Port Orford Cedar cap.
The 16,000-square-foot speculative office building is a love letter to mass timber construction that proudly utilizes prefabricated elements as finishing materials, leaving raw Douglas Fir cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels and glulam beams rough and unadorned. Albina Yard is the first building in the U.S. to use domestically produced CLT panels as the primary structural building element. The speculative nature of the four-story office building forced the designers to be “very, very deliberate about architectural moves,” according to Thomas Robinson, founding principal at Lever Architecture. The mindset resulted in a rather straightforward building: A plywood shear wall–wrapped elevator core anchors the rectangular office block along one of its long sides, leaving open spans elsewhere. Besides the elevator, the core contains bathrooms, egress stairs, and an accent stair made entirely of CLT panels. The building’s U-shaped open plan provides large-span offices topped by glulam beams with columns spaced farther apart than would be allowed under less rigid structural systems. Both short ends of the building are studded with windows—The principal facade contains ground floor retail that hugs the street while the back face overlooks a modest courtyard containing a small shipping container that houses a separate office. Custom-fabricated, powder-coated steel connections hold the wood assemblies together, their engineered bolts embedded deep within the mass of each glulam beam. “We wanted to find a way to embed steel in the wood to protect it from fire,” Robinson explained in reference to the buried bolts. He added, “the powder coat finish prevents the connections from rusting and staining the wood, as well.” Like the structural members, the connections were digitally-fabricated to order for the project and designed to “drift” in either direction by as much as 2% in the event of an earthquake, providing just enough flexibility for the building to sway but not shatter. The crisp structural connections and exposed fire suppression and HVAC systems lend the structure the type of elemental clarity usually reserved for utilitarian warehouse spaces, on-brand for creative office–seeking clientele. The building’s main facade is clad in a custom window assembly made up of large floor-to-ceiling spans of plate glass interrupted by narrower expanses containing operable windows. “We were excited to express wood on the exterior of the building,” Robinson said, highlighting the rot-resistant Port Orford Cedar wood mullions and window frames along the gradually cantilevering facade. The window wall is an indication, Robinson said, of the building’s innovative structural system. The face of the building steps out little by little as it climbs, with the second and third floors together projecting four feet out and the fourth floor above cantilevering just a few more feet over the street. The depth of these cantilevers is directly related to the spanning capabilities of the three-ply CLT panels used to structure the building. Ultimately, the project—now fully leased—seems to pull off its intended showroom purpose, showcasing glulam beams that were machined in Portland and CLT panels manufactured in southern Oregon, with everything made from Oregon-harvested lumber.
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Portland International Airport plans $1.3 billion overhaul

Portland International Airport (PDX), stretched to its limits and lacking enough space for security operations, is planning a massive $1.3 billion renovation as reported by The Oregonian

The planned five-year project, if approved by the airlines that operate at the airport, will be the first major overhaul of the terminal since its construction in 1956. The realities of post-9/11 travel—TSA checks, body scanners, endless lines—have been difficult to incorporate into a terminal that was not designed for such needs.

Another issue that PDX—if not all airports—faces is as the tourism industry grows, capacity becomes a concern. Portland, in particular, has been seeing a record-setting amount of visitors over the past years, and the airport is struggling to keep up. 

"We have made do with what we could until now," said Curtis Robinhold, executive director of the Port of Portland, to the Oregonian. "We're simply running out of capacity to manage the passenger flow we're getting today, and that we'll be getting in the days to come." 

The redesign of the terminal will minimize the mixing of arriving and departing passengers to improve circulation, as well as create more open space in the pre-security area. The plan estimates that the airport’s upgrades will be able to accommodate 35 million travelers annually, which is almost double the number of travelers from last year.

Other improvements include implementing structural upgrades to make the building earthquake-resilient and replacing the roof and aging electrical and plumbing systems. A $265 million parking garage expansion is also expected to begin in 2018.

Port of Portland officials are working with the airline carriers, who will be the ones financing the project, to create an acceptable plan. It will be voted on in the fall, and if approved, construction is scheduled to begin in 2020 and completed in stages.

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The first cross-laminated timber high-rise in the U.S. now has a building permit

It’s a first for the United States: the State of Oregon and City of Portland have granted a building permit for the first Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) high rise over 85 feet. The building is called Framework, an under development 12-story (148 feet tall), 90,000-square-foot mixed-use building in Portland, Oregon designed by LEVER Architecture that will make use of a wood core structure. The building will house a bank and timber exhibit at ground level, offices and affordable housing above, as well as a roof deck and garden. Construction is expected to begin this fall, while the building is slated to open in the winter of 2018. The design required rigorous fireseismic, and other safety tests to prove its durability compared to typical steel and concrete construction. Testing and research at Portland State University and Oregon State University was funded in part from a $1.5 million U.S. Tall Wood Building award sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture. While Framework is not the first tall wood building in the U.S.—Michael Green Architecture with DLR Group designed T3, a seven-story mass timber building clad in steel in Minneapolis and completed in November 2016—it is now the tallest permitted mass timber building in the U.S. today.
In the Pacific Northwest, Seattle was the first U.S. city to allow CLT in construction, yet the current building code caps wood office buildings at six stories high and wood residential buildings at five stories. Oregon may have gained an advantage through a convergence of factors: ample resources, performance-based testing, political support, and perhaps even that quirky Portland entrepreneurial spirit. “Projects like the Framework building present a new opportunity for Oregon that we are perfectly suited to take on,” said Governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, in a statement. “Oregon’s forests are a tried and true resource that may again be the key to economic stability for rural Oregon, expanding opportunity for communities hit hard by the decline of the natural resource economy. The Framework building shows that we can use sustainably harvested timber in a sustainable way to act as a catalyst for economic development through the creation of timber and manufacturing jobs in rural economies.”
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Works by John Yeon, the godfather of Pacific Northwest modernism, go on view at the Portland Art Museum

John Yeon (1910-1994) was a godfather of Pacific Northwest architecture. His 1937 Watzek House garnered international attention when the Museum of Modern Art included it in the 1939 book Art of Our Time and the 1944 traveling exhibition Built in USA. The modern house, which now serves as the John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape, was built with local woods and references historical styles. Providing a counterpoint to the International Style lauded by Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Yeon’s work was prescient of the regional influences that would soon disrupt modernism's taut white boxes. Running through September 23 at the Portland Art Museum (PAM), Quest for Beauty: The Architecture, Landscapes, and Collections of John Yeon, exhibits sketches, working drawings, models, and photos, as well as a video wall replaying a time-lapse of Yeon's landscape masterpiece The Shire, a 75-acre, 25-year project along the Columbia River Gorge. Randy Gragg, guest curator of the exhibition and director of the John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape, dotted the exhibition with vases, paintings, and various sculptures from Yeon's own collection, providing an artistic accompaniment to the architect's own works. The diversity of representation ensures that the material can reach a wider audience than his buildings. Barry Bergdoll, a Museum of Modern Art curator and Columbia University professor, presented the lecture “John Yeon and High Stakes of Regionalism in the 1930s” at the PAM on Mother's Day, a kind of inaugural lecture. A contributor to the exhibition catalog, John Yeon Architecture: Building in the Pacific Northwest, Bergdoll placed Yeon in a socio-political context that straddled the taut, industrial modernism and traditional, regional styles. Yeon was a prototypical critical regionalist who used passive techniques, architectural manipulations, and materials of the region to design what Bergdoll described as a "temple to timber and the Oregon landscape." In 1941 Yeon was included in MoMA's The Wooden House in America exhibit, as his plywood houses from the 1930s exploited the Pacific Northwest's pioneering material in designing affordable homes, much like Frank Lloyd Wright's contemporary Usonian houses. And it was within this canon of architects that Bergdoll placed Yeon—amongst Aalto, Breuer, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Wright. He was perhaps most closely aligned in spirit with the material and regional sensibilities of Antonin Raymond. While the work of the self-taught architect was not nearly as extensive as many other architects of the period—Yeon realized 18 homes and one public work (Portland Information Center of 1941)—his impact resonates in the region. For more on Quest for Beauty: The Architecture, Landscapes, and Collections of John Yeon, see the PAM's website here.
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Allied Works reveals Portland Timbers stadium expansion

Allied Works Architecture (AWA) has unveiled designs for a $50 million expansion to the 91-year-old soccer stadium in Portland, Oregon's Providence Park, home to the Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns soccer teams. The stadium expansion, according to information on the AWA website, is conceptually inspired by William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London and will aim to add roughly 4,000 seats to the existing stadium complex. The new scheme represents the stadium’s second expansion since 2011 and will consist of raked stadium seating stands topped by an open steel truss canopy along the existing stadium’s eastern side. The new expansion will also create a street-level public arcade area that will contain pedestrian-oriented spaces to be used before and after games. The expansion would boost the stadium’s capacity to 25,000 seats, a relief for some of the 13,000 fans currently on a waiting list for season tickets at the stadium. The team, according to Oregon’s Business Tribune, has sold out every Major League Soccer regular season and playoff game at the stadium. The arcade structure will serve to complete the park’s original master plan, first proposed by the office of A.E Doyle and Morris Whitehouse in 1926. That original scheme proposed a substantial arcade structure; AWA’s design takes a more contemporary approach and is made up of more open steel trusses. The stadium expansion comes after the recent completion of AWA’s designs for a training facility for the Timbers team in Beaverton, Oregon. That 6,000-square-foot project was built by Turner Construction and opened in 2016. Construction on the stadium expansion is due to begin this fall and is expected to be completed for either the 2019 or 2020 MLS season. The developer is Peregrine Sports LLC.
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Snøhetta named to master plan Oregon Museum of Science and Industry expansion

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) has tapped international architecture firm Snøhetta to lead the master planning process for the riverfront institution’s 16-acre campus located in on Portland’s eastside. Snøhetta, who has offices in New York and San Francisco, as well as abroad, will work with several local firms and OMSI stakeholders in order to provide a “market-driven strategy that outlines the best economic and environmental uses of OMSI’s physical property while highlighting the museum’s work as a cultural touchstone, science education resource, and trailhead to connect the community to learning and skill-building opportunities that equip them for 21st-century jobs.” The project will bring the firm together with economic consultants ECONorthwest, engineering firm Buro Happold, planning firm Spencer Consultants, traffic consultants DKS, civil engineers KPFF and Portland, Oregon—based landscape architects Mayer/Reed as the team hopes to articulate this future vision for the campus. Work on the OMSI Master Plan is set to begin this month and will continue into the spring of 2017. In a press release announcing the firm’s selection, Craig Dykers, founding partner of Snøhetta stated, “Portland's future is intimately linked with the pursuit of education, a greater understanding of the sciences, and our relationship to the environment. To be a part of this journey together with OMSI is a rare opportunity to shape a larger component of society.” The project comes as Snøhetta’s work across West Coast expands, with recently-completed projects like the 235,000-square-foot expansion to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and a proposal for a new public market in Portland garnering region-wide recognition for the firm.
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Skylab’s new golden Portland high-rise divides opinion

In Burnside Bridgehead, off the Willamette River in Portland, a chocolate-brown high-rise is turning heads. Designed by native architecture firm Skylab, the residential building—called the "Yard"—is due to officially open in the coming weeks. However, not all are happy with the latest addition to the area. "It's great! It's like O.J. Simpson in Towering Inferno. It looks like a ship's bow," remarked one enthusiast of the building to Oregon Public Broadcasting's (OPB) radio show which covered the building. Not all the responses were positive, though. One commenter stated how it was the "perfect symbol of Portland's soul being sold down the river." Another questioned: "Why for the love of god do architects and designers think that black and gray buildings, in a place that's gray eight months of the year, is a good idea?" Resting on a site that has a 40-foot variation in elevation it has been dubbed by critics as "one of the most complicated high-rises ever built in Portland." Boasting a 8,000-square-foot spa, two bars and restaurants, parking facilities, and bike lockers, the four-story housing complex will offer 60 units at 60 percent of area median rents for lower-income households. The structure also lies adjacent to one of Portland's most prominent skateparks. Jeff Kovel of Skylab, the architect behind the project, was acutely aware of the park's counterculture importance, noting in a video (below) how numerous friends make use of it. Going one step further, light is even provided by the building for the skatepark so people can use the facility all day and night. Speaking of the East Side Big Pipe, a large sewer line and tunnel that runs under the building, Kovel said "40 percent of this site was unbuildable for anything over five or six stories. That had a big impact in the engineering for the tall building foundations." "I would actually prefer the building to be darker, to be honest with you," he added in response to some of the building's criticisms. "At the predesign review we were encouraged to lighten it up. I don’t have an issue with the color that it is, but it’s interesting that a number of the other buildings in the neighborhood have actually became the same color—that wasn’t intentional.” “All of the towers in Vancouver are using it, Toronto," Kovel continued, speaking about the reflective glazing system employed on the Yard's facade. "It’s generally a product that is visually kind of banal; it’s not something that you get super excited about. When we learned that we had to use it we were kind of exciting for the opportunity to use it and innovate with something that hadn’t really been innovated with. We started working with the manufacture to design custom venting, to work on essentially taking a run-of-the-mill system and elevating it to a higher quality of design and detail. I think if you were to look at this building in a portfolio of buildings using this system it would really stand out as one of the premier examples of what you can do with this system, so I’m really proud of that aspect of it.”