This week the University of Oregon and Portland State University each will host a prominent architect for a lecture.
On Wednesday, April 23 at 6PM, PSU will welcome Canadian architect Gregory Henriquez to Lincoln Hall (1620 SW Park, room 75). Henriquez's firm, Henriquez Partners, has been around for 34 years in Vancouver and has been responsible for a host of different project types. But the architect is best known for several pioneering mixed use and social housing projects. In his book, "Towards An Ethical Architecture", Henriquez explores the role of ethics, activism and critical commentary and argues that architecture must be a poetic expression of social justice."
Thursday the University of Oregon welcomes one of its former architecture instructors, Thomas Hacker, to its new Portland Center and White Stag building (70 NW Couch Street) for a 6PM Lecture.
As I've written about frequently, after studying at the University of Pennsylvania, Hacker got his start in the Philadelphia office of the great Louis Kahn. At the UO, Hacker and other professors espoused the spiritual modernism of Kahn, and the idea that each design endeavor is a search for how to express the essence of each client and program. When he left UO for private practice in Portland, Hacker also gave prominent local architects of today like Rick Potestio, Brad Cloepfil and John Cava their start. An OHSU building on Marquam Hill has the unique combination of Hacker, Cloepfil and Potestio's mark.
Then there's all the very fine buildings that Hacker's firm has done in the last decade or two: the superlative Woodstock, Beaverton and Hillsdale libraries, numerous university buildings, and now a South Waterfront condo (Atwater Place) and a new headquarters for Mercy Corps. Sometimes when I talk to the most talented younger architects in town, they tend not to get as excited by Hacker's work as some new firms such as Skylab, Holst, or Works Partnership. But I rate the firm's work very high.
Finally, in case you hadn't heard (I sure hadn't), April is Landscape Architecture Month! It's also the 20th anniversary of the Salmon Street Springs Fountain at Waterfront Park. This Thursday, the local ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) will hold a festival at the fountain from noon to 1PM. (Wow, an hour-long festival!) Portland Architecture has also learned that a temporary art installation entitled "Spin" will incorporate large red pinwheels assembled around the fountain.
Regardless of whether you or I make the trek to Salmon Street Springs Fountain this Thursday (but I know the pinwheels have piqued your interest), it's worth remembering the stellar landscape architecture that exists in Portland - a pedigree arguably stronger than that of our architecture.