BY BRIAN LIBBY
Bas Smets: Landscape is Fiction
This conversation between Randy Gragg and landscape architect Bas Smets is part of the University of Oregon John Yeon Center's 2015 spring lecture series, A New City Beautiful: Landscape + Infrastructure = Public Space. One of the world’s rising-star landscape architects, Bas Smets hails from what he describes as “a land without landscape”—Belgium. Smets, who has a background in civil engineering, architecture, and landscape architecture, will offer insights into his design philosophy, from its conceptual roots in Dutch and Flemish early Renaissance painting to his contention that landscape design is a form of “hacking reality.” Since starting his firm, Bureau Bas Smets, in 2007, he has developed public-space gardens for places as diverse as Ingelmunster in Flanders, the PMQ Center for Design in Hong Kong, and the Estonian National Museum in Tartu. He has designed projects as large as regional visions for Brussels 2040 and a 100,000-plus acre reserve in Bordeaux, and as small as a garden of black plants in Portugal for the artist Phillippe Parreno’s film “Continuously Habitable Zones.” Since 2009, he has been collaborating with Frank Gehry on the Parc des Ateliers in Arles. Jimmy Mak's 221 NW 10th Avenue. 6PM Thursday, April 16. Free with minimum one-drink purchase.
Tiny House Conference
The second annual Tiny House Conference will connect experts and veterans of this burgeoning movement with those new to the endeavor. Speakers will include Boise architect Macy Miller, whose tiny house was recently featured in Dwell magazine, and writer/filmmaker Logan Blair Smith, who owns a tiny house in Montague, California. Holiday Inn, 8439 NE Columbia Boulevard. 8AM Saturday-Sunday, April 18-19. (Registration closed.)
Portland 101: Crooked Grids, Tiny Blocks, and the Building of the City
How did Portland get this way, with its little square blocks and weird intersections, the funny pronunciations and the bridge ramps to nowhere? Why is it even located where it is? This Architectural Heritage Center lecture by Robert Jordan will look at the Portland street grid, the naming and re-naming of streets, and the eras of commercial architecture that have marked our compact and vibrant downtown, as well as the near blitzkrieg effect of the Great Demolition which left us with parking lots where the temples of finance and industry once stood. Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Avenue. 10AM Saturday, April 18. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
David Rubin: The City Is A Landscape
This lecture is the first annual Douglas Macy Lecture on Landscape Architecture (presented in conjunction with the American Society of Landscape Architects Oregon Chapter Symposium) and is additionally a part of the University of Oregon John Yeon Center's 2015 spring lecture series, A New City Beautiful: Landscape + Infrastructure = Public Space. The 21st century is a century of landscape architecture while the 20th century was about buildings, says landscape architect David Rubin. A 2012 Rome Prize winner and formerly a partner at Olin and now with his own, two-year-old firm, Land Collective, Rubin is designing a growing body of work based on socially purposeful design strategies. Landscape architects are building spaces for society and shaping human interaction, he says. Key to their success—and the public spaces and the cities they are helping to shape—is the notion of empathy. Portland State University, Shattuck Hall, corner of Broadway and Hall Streets. 3PM Saturday, April 18. $10 ($5 for students).
Scott Kelsey: The New American Medical School
Kelsey is the managing principal of CO Architects in Los Angeles, and joined the practice in 1987 as one of its early members. He has over 30 years of experience in institutional building types that include academic, research, clinical, civic and justice facilities, including the Collaborative Life Sciences Building in South Waterfront. Kelsey will discuss how pioneering principles for the design of our nation’s future hospitals and related healthcare facilities are being established today by game-changing developments in the curriculum and facility design of many new medical schools and allied healthcare educational institutions. The “New American Medical School” concept, which he has championed, transforms the built educational environment in ways that radically impacts the conduct of the disciplines taught through inter-professional learning and technology, and creates a new model for medical and health education facilities that is driven by an emphasis on technology-rich, problem-based, and hands-on learning modalities. University of Oregon, White Stag Block, 70 NW Couch Street. 5:30PM Wednesday, April 22. Free.
Architects Without Borders: Project Forum
At this monthly meeting of the Oregon chapter of Architects Without Borders, updates will be provided from teams working on two pro bono design efforts: the Red Sweater Project, a master plan for a school in Tanzania; and Portland Day Storage, which creates storage facilities designed to serve our city's homeless population. AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Avenue. 6PM Wednesday, April 22. Free.
Story Hour: Design Fail
Design is often used to tell a story. Design Museum Portland’s Story Hour offers the opportunity to share tales of creativity and exploration. In this inaugural Story Hour, Design Fail, speakers will outline how in the trials of design glory, we’ve all had our moments. But failure is often the path to breakthrough and success. Speakers will include Fredrik Averin of Razorfish, artist Scott Erickson, Eric Corey Freed of the International Living Future Institute, Mark Shapiro of Laika, and Kjell van Zoen of Plywerk. Village Ballroom, 700 NE Dekum Street. 6:30PM Wednesday, April 22. Free.
Revival Styles In American Architecture
All through the 19th and well into the 20th century, architecture was dominated by eclecticism. Gothic and Italianate Revival dominated for decades but were later supplanted by Greek, Federal, and Colonial revivals. The popularity of all of these architectural styles can still be seen throughout the Portland area. In this Architectural Heritage Center lecture, John Doyle discusses the variety of revival architectural styles we see every day in Portland, including not just the familiar styles but Jacobean, Byzantine, and Egyptian. Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Avenue. 7PM Wednesday, April 22. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
COTE Tour: Orchards at Orenco
The AIA/Portland chapter's Committee on the Environment (COTE) will head to suburban Hillsboro for a tour of this multi-family housing projects designed to meet Passive House guidelines. Developed in Germany and used widely in both single-family and multi-family homes in Europe, Passive House design reduces building energy use by roughly 80 percent. Orchards at Orenco, NE Cherry Drive & NW 231st Avenue, Hillsboro. 10AM Thursday, April 23. $15 ($10 for AIA members) if seeking AIA learning units, free if not.
Historic Theaters Of Northwest And Southwest Portland
This lecture is the final installment in the Architectural Heritage Center's series on Portland area neighborhood movie theaters. Historians Steve Stone and Mike Mathews will discuss cinemas in Linnton, Nob Hill, Thurman, and other parts of Northwest Portland. They’ll also talk about the smaller theaters of Southwest Portland and Multnomah and maybe some very early downtown nickelodeons. Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Avenue. 10AM Saturday, April 25. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Portland Modern Home Tour
Curated by yours truly, the fourth annual Portland Modern Home Tour includes a wide variety of midcentury and contemporary houses and apartments, including a floating home by architect Phil Sydnor, a striking contemporary house in the West Hills by architect Christopher Gelber, a pair of town homes in the Humbolt neighborhood by architect Lee Winn, and the Burnside 26 apartments on East Burnside by Sera Architects. 11AM Saturday, April 25. $30 ($40 day of tour).