A Victorian house in Southeast Portland (photo by Brian Libby)
BY BRIAN LIBBY
The founding partner of Behnisch Architekten in Stuttgart, Germany, Stefan Behnisch is a world-renowned educator and proponent on the subject of sustainable building design. Behnisch’s goal—to connect the forces of human life and the natural environment—fuels his design work. Behnisch’s honors include a Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, the Award Trophée Sommet de la Terre et Bâtiment for Sustainable Architecture in France, and others. His firm’s commissions include the new administrative building for the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland; the Allston Science Complex at Harvard University; the Angelos Law Center at the University of Baltimore. Behnisch Architekten was recently selected to design the Portland State University School of Business Administration building, a 150,000-square-foot renovation and expansion, to be completed in 2017. Portland State University, Shattuck Hall (Room 212), SW Broadway and Hall Street. 7PM Wednesday, April 16. Free.
Sustainable Structures Symposium
Building envelopes, mechanical systems and daylighting are the traditional emphasis of green building practice and scholarship. The role of structural systems and materials in the overall performance of a building has been largely neglected. In contemporary practice, architects and engineers choose a structural system very early during the design process depending on constraints such as building codes, cost, required spans, construction schedule and site constraints. Very little consideration is typically given to other ways the structure could contribute to improving sustainable outcomes. This symposium will explore the greater role structure should have in the design, impact and operation of green buildings. Portland State University, Smith Memorial Student Union, 1825 SW Broadway, and AIA/Portland Center For Architecture, 403 NW 11th Avenue. 9AM Thursday, April 17. $250.
Inspired by San Francisco popular annual "Lost Landscapes" series, in which viewers and guest speakers try to identify long-gone local sights in old film reels, venerable Portland archivist Dennis Nyback will share a variety of vintage of vintage Oregon shorts, documentaries and amateur footage to trace the Portland landscape of yesteryear. Yours truly and writer/blogger Byron Beck will be onstage with Nyback to lead the participatory conversation. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Boulevard. 7:15PM Thursday, April 17. $8 ($6 for seniors, students and children under 12).
Net-Zero Energy Building Design
Achieving the goal of net-zero energy requires integrated design and careful attention to ongoing building operations and occupant energy use. Presented by the Energy Trust of Oregon, this half-day course features a panel of experts, including Mark Lyles of the New Buildings Institute with Marc Brune and Ruwan Jayaweera of PAE Consulting Engineers, who will review the design challenges net-zero presents and offer strategies and tools for meeting high performance standards while touching upon current trends in net-zero design, how these buildings can revolutionize a market and how current technology can help overcome. Ecotrust Building, 721 NW Ninth Ave. 8AM Friday, April 18. Sold out.
Frank Lloyd Wright and the Evolution of the American House
Robert McCarter, an architecture professor at Washington University in St. Louis, will lead a discussion exploring Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Houses as the source for the ordering principles that would guide his entire career. McCarter will also discuss three other modern plan-making innovations: Frank Lloyd Wright's woven plan, Adolf Loos's raumplan, and Le Corbusier's plan libre, and their common source in counterpoint to Beaux-Arts plan-making. Smith CFI, 620 NE 19th Avenue. 6PM Friday, April 18. Free.
Portland SketchUp Meetup
Trimble SketchUp software (previously published by Google) is used by millions of people, making it the most popular 3D modeling software in the world. But in-person training and networking opportunities are limited. Portland's SketchUp Meetup seeks to create an educational and networking forum for local hobbyists and professionals who use the software as a tool to design 3D objects and environments. ADX, 417 SE 11th Avenue. 6:00PM Tuesday, April 22. Free.
Contingent Urbanism: When Tactics Become Strategy
B.D. Wortham-Galvin, an assistant professor at the Portland State University School of Architecture and a faculty fellow with the Center for Public Interest Design, will discuss how ordinary people are engaged in making place and how designers and planners might learn from it. Wortham-Galvin's talk builds on a July 2013 Architect magazine article exploring the concept of tactical urbanism, defined as "temporary, cheap, and usually grassroots interventions—including so-called guerrilla gardens, pop-up parks, food carts, and open streets projects—that are designed to improve city life on a block-by-block, street-by-street basis." University of Oregon, White Stag Block, 70 NW Couch Street. 5:30PM Wednesday, April 23. Free.
Architects Without Borders—Africa Bridge
Barry Childs, founder of Africa Bridge (africabridge.org), will be the guest speaker at this month’s general meeting of Architects Without Borders-Oregon. Headquartered at Marylhurst University, Africa Bridge combats child poverty in Tanzania through economic development at the village level: creating farming coops, facilitating micro-lending, and building and renovating classrooms and clinics. Thus far Africa Bridge has been active in 20 villages. Childs, who grew up in Tanzania, is a 2010 winner of the $100,000 Purpose Prize awarded to innovative social entrepreneurs over the age of 60. Architects Without Borders-Oregon, AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave. (Enter on NW Flanders.) 6PM, Wednesday, April 23. Free.
Build Local Alliance Spring Showcase
A Portland nonprofit working to connect local, responsibly grown and processed wood with local projects, the Build Local Alliance Spring Showcase includes guest speakers: Robert Deal, a forest researcher at the Pacific Northwest Research Center; Mark Lewis, President of Forest Grove supplier Woodfold; and Amy Jarvis of the Cascadia Green Building Council. Green Furniture Solutions, 625 SW 10th Avenue. 6:30PM Thursday, April 24. Suggested donation.
Victorian Glory: West Coast Residential Architecture, 1850-1910
Paul Duchscherer, author of Victorian Glory in San Francisco and the Bay Area, leads this discussion and survey of West Coast residential architecture, ranging from the mid-19th century Greek and Gothic revivals through high style Queen Anne and Eastlake movements and into the early 20th century and the Edwardian era. Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Avenue. 10AM Saturday, April 26. $20 ($12 for AHC members).