BY BRIAN LIBBY
Portland's Housing Crisis: A “Renter State of Emergency?”
This year, Portland renters have seen a surge in no-cause evictions and dramatically increased rents. For the City Club's Friday Forum, Kurt Creager, the City of Portland's new housing director, will discuss the crisis with Martha McLennan, executive director of NW Housing Alternatives as well as Street Roots executive director Israel Bayer and developer/housing advocate Eli Spevak. Sentinel Hotel, 614 SW 11th Avenue. 12:15PM Friday, October 2. $30 ($23 for City Club members.)
Alvar Aalto’s Synthetic Rationality - The Logic of Form
In conjunction with Third Angle's Frozen Music performances at the Alvar Aalto-designed Mt. Angel Abbey Library near Mt. Angel, acclaimed Finnish writer architect Juhani Pallasmaa will deliver a lecture titled "Alvar Aalto's Synthetic Rationality: The Logic of Form" and presented jointly by the University of Oregon and Portland State University. Pallasmaa will explain that Aalto’s approach to design, while often labeled “irrational” or “organic,” in fact includes experiential, psychological, atmospheric, and neurological qualities as conscious parts of his design process, a process that could be called synthetic rationality. Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex, SW Broadway and Hall Street. 5:30PM Friday, October 2. Free.
2015 AIA Homes Tour
The Portland chapter of the American Institute of Architects Portland's 2015 Homes Tour features eight residences, designed by some of our city’s top architecture firms. This year’s homes vary from old to new – reflecting classic aesthetic with modernized efficiency, sculptural yet functional residences, as well as home additions that display outstanding use of challenging space. Included are homes by Lever Architecture, Scott | Edwards Architecture, Architecture W, Waechter Architecture, Deca Architecture, Office 52 Architecture, Giulietti/Schouten Architects, and Paul McKean Architecture. 10AM Saturday, October 4. $40.
Designing America: the Olmsted Legacy in the US and Portland
The Olmsted family name is recognized across North America for their impact on our landscape. Frederick Law Olmsted is noted for his design of New York’s Central Park as well as the grounds of the famous Biltmore Estate, and the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Closer to home, Olmsted’s sons Frederick Jr. and John Charles Olmsted designed notable landscapes and drafted plans for park systems and university campuses, many of which were in the Pacific Northwest. Laurence Cotton, consulting producer for the PBS program Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America, will deliver this Architectural Heritage Center lecture on the Olmsted legacy, followed by a discussion led by Portland architect and Olmsted expert William J. Hawkins III about the impacts of the Olmsted Brothers in Portland. Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Avenue. 10AM Saturday, October 3. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Walking tour: downtown Portland's north end and Chinatown
This Architectural Heritage Center tour explores the abundant architectural and cultural history in the downtown neighborhood wedged between Old Town and the Pearl District. Along the way attendees will see 19th century gems like the Mariner’s Home building, which has just been rehabilitated and turned into the Society Hotel, and learn how the area became New Chinatown, and later Japantown. Also included will be landmark buildings like Union Station, the US Custom House, and even a historic fire station. Tour meets at NW Third Avenue and Davis Street. 1PM Saturday, October 3. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Frozen Music: light and music in Aalto’s library
The Mount Angel Abbey Library is a modern marvel, one of only two buildings in the US designed by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. Third Angle transforms Aalto’s architectural masterpiece into a place of interactive musical exploration filled with music by modern Finnish composers and the voices of the visionaries who brought this library to life. Mount Angel Abbey Library, 1 Abbey Drive, Mt. Angel. 1, 2 and 3PM Saturday-Sunday, October 3-4. $35 ($30 for seniors, $10 for students).
ARE Lecture Series: Site Planning
The AIA Portland Emerging Professionals Committee is partnering with local professionals to produce this lecture series intended to prepare unlicensed professionals for their Architect Registration Examinations (AREs). This first installment is devoted to site planning. AIA Portland, 403 NW 11th Avenue. 5:30PM Wednesday, October 6. $20 ($10 for AIA members).
Story Hour: Making
Design Museum Portland’s Story Hour offers the opportunity to share tales of creativity and exploration. For this installment, storytellers will include Office 52 Architecture owner Isaac Campbell, WeMakePDX executive director Yvonne Perez Emerson, OMSI creative-services director Dave Laubenthal, and Neil Kelly designer Joss Mallett, among others. On Deck, 910 NW 14th Avenue. 6:30PM Wednesday, October 7. Free.
2035 Comprehensive Plan: Housing
Portland's City Council has convened a series of work sessions on Portland’s new Comprehensive Plan that are open to the public, the latest of which will address the topic of housing. Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and partner bureau leadership/staff will be presenting and answering questions at each work session. Overall, the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan covers many land-use issues that will determine how the city itself is designed over the coming generations. City Hall Council Chambers, 1221 SW Fourth Avenue. 2PM Thursday, October 8. Free.
Designer Spotlight: Jean-Pierre Veillet
Yours truly will be the host for the latest in this ongoing bimonthly discussion series featuring the city's best interior designers and architects, this time with designer-developer Jean-Pierre Veillet of Siteworks. Over the past decade, Siteworks's portfolio has grown to include projects like Genoa, the EcoFlats, and Pine Street Market, as well as consulting for endeavors like the World of Speed and a new Portland Headquarters for Under Armour. Ceilume Ceiling Showroom, 1225 SE Grand Avenue. 6PM Thursday, October 14. Free.
Portland's Housing Crisis: Creating the Future or Removing the Past?
Over the last few years, Portland renters and homebuyers saw a surge in the cost of rent and homes. One policy solution that has been proposed is increasing urban density and building more homes in existing neighborhoods. While many Portland residents support policies that increase urban density in theory, the experience of watching neighborhoods change in the last few years has alarmed many residents. This City Club panel discussion will include Bing Sheldon, retired chairman and founder of SERA Architects as well as the founding board member of Central City Concern, as well as Restore Oregon's Brandon Spencer-Hartle and land use attorney Carrie Richter of Garvey Schubert Barer. Sentinel Hotel, 614 SW 11th Avenue. 12:15PM Friday, October 9. $30 ($23 for City Club members.)
Design Week Portland: open houses
Although the annual Design Week Portland has moved from October to April, organizers are offering eight days of open houses at various design firms and creative agencies, including MadeHere PDX, Ampersand/CORD, Context Partners, SET, Fine Design, Spooltown, Shock and Awe, and Hand-Eye Supply. Various locations, Saturday, October 10-Saturday, October 17. Free.
Eastside Uprising: The Architects Shaping the Big, New Burnside Bridgehead
It’s been decades since Portland has seen such an architecturally dramatic reshaping of three contiguous, more visible city blocks as what is taking place at East Burnside and NE Grand Avenue: the Burnside Bridgehead. Designed by Skylab Architecture, Works Partnership, and Guerilla Development, the three buildings—Block 67, Block 75, and the “Fair-Haired Dumbbell”—may not be large (21, 9, and 6 stories, respectively). But each reinterprets—some might say, defies—the usual rules of Portland architectural politeness. Randy Gragg, director of the University of Oregon's John Yeon Center, will talk with Skylab Architecture Jeff Kovel, Carrie Strickland and Bill Neburka of Works Partnership, and Kevin Cavenaugh of Guerrilla Development, the principal designers of three buildings rising at the Burnside Bridgehead. Jimmy Mak's 221 NW 10th Avenue. 6PM Monday, October 12. $10 suggested donation.
Case study & tour: City of Portland Emergency Coordination Center
Portland’s Emergency Coordination Center is currently one of the most seismically-resilient buildings in the Pacific Northwest, providing the City with a facility available for immediate use to maintain critical operations after an earthquake or other disaster. Moving beyond basic Essential Facility requirements, the ECC was designed with special measures for seismic resilience and self-sufficiency, allowing it to operate for seven to ten days independent of utilities or resupply. Energy- and resource-efficient measures, such as rainwater harvesting, potable water storage, natural daylighting, high-performance building envelope, solar energy systems, and natural ventilation, not only reduce the environmental impact of the facility but also contribute toward its designed resilience strategy, while simultaneously providing a healthier work environment. Joshua Stein of MWA Architects will lead this tour and AIA Continuing Education class. Emergency Coordination Center, 9911 SE Bush Street. 12PM Wednesday, October 14. Tour only is $35 ($25 for AIA members), class only is $70 ($50 for AIA members), and tour + class is $88.50 ($62.50 for AIA members).