For the last few years, the Architecture Foundation of Oregon has operated a fundraising campaign in which the city's architects open their homes (and other spaces) for dinner to donors.
I love this idea, not only because it's personal and grassroots, but also because cooking is an interesting parallel to creating architecture. You've got to gather a host of supplies and, if you're smart, pay attention to their cost. You can go with something traditional, or try and be a bit more daring. But you've also got to think about the people who will be eating the food, just as you would occupants in a building. It's the chance for real artistry, but also requires a lot of unsexy grunt work. I like best those who embrace both.
I thought I'd share a list of the latest fundraisers happening, all with tickets available should your interest (in eating, talking, or supporting the AFO) be piqued:
Saturday June 9 @ 6:30PM: Kathleen & Steve Poland, AIA, Ankrom Moisan, Associated Architects, Greg & Joan Baldwin, FAIA and Theresa & Gene Sandoval, AIA, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects. Take in sweeping panoramas from Forest Park to downtown to RiverPlace from John Carroll’s office on the 11th floor of Eliot Tower, one of Portland’s most elegant new condo buildings. (You can also see the Rosefriend apartments being torn down from here.)
Saturday, June 16 @ 5:30PM: Merridy Gerlach & Doug Benson, AIA, MCM Architects. Enjoy a diverse dinner drawn from the hosts’ collection of over 350 cookbooks and an intense interest in food. Join Doug, Merridy, and pets in their remodeled 1920s Irvington home for great food and stimulating conversation.
Saturday, June 16 @ 6PM: Hala Shibeka & Gaafar Gaafar, KPFF. Homelands and travels in the Middle East and Africa inspire Hala and Gaafar’s phenomenal cuisine and the art objects that decorate their beautiful home in Portland’s Northwest hills.
Saturday, June 16 @ 5PM: Kim Krull, Sparling & Harry Jones, DCI Engineers. Lounge under the trees alongside the private creek as your hosts warm up the barby for prime rib on their huge two level deck. The pool table awaits you, as well.
Saturday, June 16 @ 6PM: Michael Reed & Carol Mayer-Reed, FASLA, Mayer/Reed. Dine outdoors in one of Portland’s most celebrated traditional neighborhoods (weather permitting, of course). Tour the special sustainable landscape aspects of the garden in this park-like Irvington setting. The interior and garden of the 1926 English-style home were recently renovated by the host designers.