Posts tagged with "Portland":

Placeholder Alt Text

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.”
Placeholder Alt Text

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.
Placeholder Alt Text

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.
Placeholder Alt Text

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.
Placeholder Alt Text

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.”
Placeholder Alt Text

Portland and Nike launch branded bike share program

The City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation, Nike, and bike share operator Motivate have partnered to bring an innovative, $10-million, 1,000 cycle bike share system to Portland’s central city. The bike share program, named “Biketown,” originally was to only encompass 600 bicycles and a compact service area. However, Nike’s involvement (a Citi Bike-style branding effort) increased the program's visibility and enabled the expansion of the number of bicycles by 66 percent. This allowed the system to expand into several downtown-adjacent neighborhoods as well. According to a joint press release issued earlier this year, the sports and apparel multi-national, based in nearby Beaverton, Oregon, will provide the initial $10-million in funding for the program and maintain a five-year contract over the system’s branding, including the production of 400 limited edition and yet-to-be-released specialty wrapped bicycles every year. Nike’s contribution, combined with projected ridership revenues, will make the program cost-free for the city. The network’s aluminum frame bicycles were produced by Brooklyn, New York-based Social Bicycles, a transportation technology company that has revolutionized bike share infrastructure by pioneering a “smart-bike” containing integrated communications and locking technologies. These features relieved some the need for the expensive docking systems other bike share systems use. Bicycle docks were not eliminated entirely, and are still utilized as a highly-visible form of urban infrastructure, but the bicycles were designed with integrated slots for U-Lock bicycle locks so they can be locked to and checked out from traditional bicycle rack systems as well as branded bike docks. The bicycles’ on-board digital communications and payment displays are also solar powered, as opposed to being located on the bicycle docks, as is common in other locales, making the type of free-flowing movement described above possible. The 45-pound, chain-less shaft-drive, 8-speed models will be managed by Motivate, the New York City-based bike share management and coordination services provider that also runs programs in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, and the Boston metropolitan area. With new bike share systems making their debut in Los Angeles, West Hollywood, California, Cleveland, Ohio, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Vancouver, Canada, Portland’s system is the latest in a rapid increase in bicycle systems in North America.
Placeholder Alt Text

Portland approves a twenty year growth plan

Last Wednesday, the Portland City Council adopted a new growth plan that will span the next two decades, according to Oregon Live. The 2035 Comprehensive Plan is an extension of Portland’s 1980 Comprehensive Plan; it also builds upon the 2012 Portland Plan and the 2015 Climate Action Plan. Additionally, it follows the approval of the West Quadrant Plan, a long-term upzoning plan aimed at increasing Portland's downtown density. The Plan notes that Portland is expected to experience a population increase of 42 percent (260,000 residents) in the next twenty years. To address this, the plan will address five major elements: the development of city centers, the creation of jobs, the protection of public health and safety, changes to some residential densities, and updates to open space designations for neighborhood development. Rule changes would densify single-family neighborhoods and require the inclusion of affordable housing units in housing projects. The plan reveals a proposed $80 million extension of the Portland Streetcar to the John’s Landing neighborhood. The city would also make seismic improvements to Willamette River bridges and upgrade infrastructure for pedestrian and bicycle travel across the city, the article notes. The plan will allow increased building heights downtown, allowing for the construction and development of office buildings to accommodate an estimated increase of 140,000 workers in the city. Such large-scale developments have already been proposed: for example, the Goodman family’s Downtown Development Group has suggested an eleven high-rise project for Downtown Portland. Investment in brownfield remediation throughout Portland is another goal of the legislation, according to the article. The 2035 Comprehensive Plan is scheduled to take effect in January 2018.
Placeholder Alt Text

Snøhetta showcases its design process at Portland exhibition

Design Week Portland kicked off Sunday, April 17, and the Center for Architecture in Portland, Oregon, was on the frontline with the exhibit Snøhetta: People, Process, Projects. Running until June 30, architecture and design firm Snøhetta compiled the material and designed the exhibition that serves as a retrospective and foretells of things to come. Originally shown in Copenhagen, this is the firm’s first extensive exhibition in the United States.

Previously on display last summer in Copenhagen, the exhibition highlights the firm’s work in Oregon on two large wall panels: The James Beard Public Market in Portland and the Willamette Falls Riverwalk in Oregon City. A fair portion of the exhibition covers the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art with a site model, large-scale facade study, detail drawings, and several renderings—a variety that feeds an architect’s curiosity. The breakthrough Alexandria Library in Egypt and the Norwegian National Opera are included, as well as several net-positive energy buildings and more libraries that are underway in Philadelphia and Far Rockaway, Queens.

The exhibition excels at displaying Snøhetta’s process. A wall graphic shows the diversity of office locations and staff, and several panels comprise the communal table that represents the center of the office—both in practice and in headquarters—in Oslo, Norway. But the study models, material samples, and inspirational pieces give more insight into the firm than could renderings, which are just as flat here as in any publication or on any screen.

Scale models convey context, form, and texture—the last especially in the study for the Vulkan Beehives installed in Norway. They’re really just a second skin wrapping a traditional apiary, but they’re a beautiful way to bring attention to a vital function of our ecosystem. Mock-ups of glass frits provide support for display panels of their respective projects. White boards offer areas for visitors to comment on the James Beard Public Market…and, perhaps unintentionally, other projects. All are aspects that make the physical display more than a just a catalogue made large—the exhibition is an interactive process.

A really cool aspect of the exhibition is the lounge that was created in the reception area. Angular seating lines one wall, and a low table with seating provides a place to flip through a number of Snøhetta’s publications, chat with friends, or take a break from the jam-packed events during Design Week. Hopefully it remains as a future amenity.

Placeholder Alt Text

Snøhetta’s first full-scale U.S. exhibition will open in Portland

Starting April 17, the nonprofit Center for Architecture in Portland will host the first full-scale exhibit on Snøhetta (see AN’s interview with founding partner, Craig Dykers) in the United States. The Norwegian and American firm is known for their international institutional projects: public and academic libraries, museums, opera houses, and more. In the U.S. they are working on projects like the Times Square reconstruction to the upcoming James Beard Public Market in Portland, a concept for the Willamette Falls River Walk in Oregon, the SFMOMA expansion opening this May, and an extension to the French Laundry Kitchen in Yountville, CA. The exhibit, Snøhetta: People, Process, Projects, features sketches, renderings, and models that provide a peek into the firm's process. The firm's architects and designers produced and curated the exhibit, too: “Join us at the lunch table or inside the workshop, where 3D prototyping and traditional craftsmanship drive conversations and exploration of new forms,” they said in a release. It’s a traveling exhibit of sorts—the exhibit made its first appearance at the Copenhagen Danish Architecture Centre last summer. The exhibit starts the first day of Design Week Portland, a spring design-oriented festival in The City of Roses that ends April 23. There are events on restorative design, data storytelling, restaurant design, and more, as well as design studio open houses throughout the city. (Seattle, by the way, has an equivalent event in September, hosted by Design in Public. The theme this year is Design Change.) The exhibit runs through June 30.
Placeholder Alt Text

Count ’em: After upzoning, developer proposes eleven new buildings for downtown Portland

The City of Roses may get a flurry of major developments downtown. The plan: Portland's Downtown Development Group, headed by the Goodman family, has proposed eleven buildings representing a $1.5 billion investment in the city. The Goodmans' vision, dubbed the Ankeny Blocks, would develop a series of parking lots topped by mixed-use buildings interspersed in a historic downtown neighborhood and near beloved landmarks like the Portland Saturday Market, reported The Oregonian this past Saturday. The five tallest buildings in the Ankeny plan—Blocks 5, 17, 18, and 19—top out at 460 feet. The blocks could play host to a variety of building types: offices, residences, retail, and restaurants. There is no word on tenants yet, but some are hoping tech giants like Google and Amazon could finally open big offices in downtown Portland. While the Ankeny plan is getting generally positive press, there is some controversy. One of the planned apartment buildings may replace the oldest food cart pod in Portland. The Goodmans' plan comes at a time when expected new zoning regulations will change the look and feel of the city. In March 2015, the Portland City Council approved the West Quadrant Plan, a 20-year comprehensive upzoning plan to increase downtown density through development (and help spruce up the city skyline). There are more building details with interactive graphics on the developer's website, with FARs, building heights, zoning, and land square footage for each of the proposed blocks.
Placeholder Alt Text

Behnisch and SRG team up on urban-minded business school at Portland State University

Construction is underway on the renovation and expansion of Portland State University School of Business Administration. Behnisch Architekten is collaborating with local SRG Partnership on the downtown Portland design, which strives to better connect the school to the urban fabric and uphold the school’s sustainable values. As such, they are targeting a LEED Platinum rating. “PSU is the largest university in Oregon, it's urban but the current business school is housed in an unremarkable building and doesn’t have an identity,” noted architect Matt Noblett, a partner in Behnisch Architekten’s Boston office. “The school has an ethos of responsible capitalism, which is a progressive approach to business and making money that is not at the expense of humanity and sustainability.” Slated to open in 2017, the new design is a 35,000-square-foot addition to the existing 100,000-square-foot business school. A daylight-filled, five-story atrium will provide circulation between the new and renovated areas while offering space for informal meetings and study areas. Both the new structure and the 1970s building will house classrooms, faculty administrative offices, and business incubators. Noblett added that the new structure would be clad in a unifying Alaskan Cedar. Critical to the new design is the connection to the urban fabric. The site is a typical 200-foot-by-200-foot Portland city block. The architects’ scheme harnesses pedestrian activity on Montgomery Street and cuts a path through the school to link to 6th Avenue, Broadway and Harrison Street. The hope is that by providing exterior plazas and a cross-block connection the design will foster a vibrant public space. Organized vertically from more public to more private, the new building has what Noblett calls a “natural stratification.” The ground floor will house retail spaces, while classroom and event spaces cantilever over the outdoor areas. “The existing building was deaf to public interaction and the school had a craving to link back to the public and show people what they do—they wanted to open up the school and make it part of the urban environment,” Noblett explained.
Placeholder Alt Text

Tactical Urbanism takes time: Architecture students build downtown Portland’s first parklet despite regulatory permitting hurdles

Word is out that downtown Portland, Oregon, has its first parklet. Designed by a team of Portland State University architecture students and led by assistant architecture professor B. D. Wortham-Galvin, the 41-foot-long public park covers two parking spaces and opened in June on Southwest 4th Avenue. https://youtu.be/y3s16HcyhjA Made out of juniper, reclaimed materials, and powder-coated steel, the small space provides ample seating and jaunty bent-metal tables for patrons of nearby eateries and food trucks—or any other member of the public who needs a place to sit a spell. The project is a collaboration between SoMa EcoDistrict, PSU School of Architecture, Sustainability Neighborhoods Initiative, and the Institute for Sustainable Solutions. While it is the neighborhood's first public parklet, it’s not, however, the city’s first parklet. In 2012, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, following the models of San Francisco and New York, embarked on the pilot Street Seats program that allows businesses or non-profit organizations to convert on-street parking into a public micro-park. The parklet offers important transparency into the time and labor that is required for tactical urbanism projects to go from design to permitting to realization. The PSU students began design development as part of a Fall 2013 studio, the city permitted the structure in late 2014, and the ribbon cutting was on June 1. Portland Monthly reported that the design-build project required 1,650 hours of work over the course of 18 months. The team raised more that $15,000 in crowd-funding and in-kind donations to offset the cost of construction and lost city revenue from paid parking. Covering that revenue is pivotal to the parklet’s lifespan and ultimate impact on the urban fabric. “When people ask if it is permanent, we have fundraised to build it and to pay the lost revenue for the next year,” Wortham-Galvin told the PSU Vanguard. “Whether it stays or not has nothing to do with permanence, but obviously at some point someone will have to take the initiative to keep paying the lost revenue for the city.” She told AN that the next phase of the project is just beginning: a post-occupancy study conducted by the students. They're interested in how the materials hold up and how the parklet is used during the whole day, not just the lunchtime rush. Wortham-Galvin suggested that an important metric is increased public will, or how one public amenity creates demand for more.