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Its a large wall. Totally out of sync with the rest of the area. You can dress these things up with neat skin, but a slab is a slab. Going that high for the entire block right up to the sidewalk destroys the streetscape. Its totally dehumanising.

Frank Templeton

I disagree. It may be a slab, but it'll be a thinner one than the stumps around it. I think the building will appear slender compared to its neighbors, and it's a better composition than most of what I've seen in that area.


"cab" calls the building "totally out of sync with the rest of the area" and says it "destroys the streetscape," yet the rendering shows that it's not appreciably taller than the Gregory on one side and the Elizabeth on the other. I guess by that rationale no 16-story building can ever be successful. How short does a building need to be to keep from being "dehumanizing"? Four stories? Two?

My first take, based only on the renderings, is that the building looks like it could be dynamic and intriguing (which is more than we can say about the vast majority of proposed "tall" buildings in Portland).


Its not about short, its about set backs and for how much the height is "felt" by the street. Take a Vancouver BC tower, they are between 80ft and 100ft on each side and are usually set back a bit from the street. This thing goes strait up all the way and takes up the entire 200ft block, right at the sidewalk. You feel and see every inch of this thing at street level. Many towers in BC, as a ped. you only feel and see maybe 4 stories because the tower is set back and the footprint is way smaller. This slab completely dominates the street for 200ft. I'd much rather have half the building be slashed out and placed on top of the other half doubling the height of the building but giving the street a break. This would create a REAL tower and not a wall.

Wayne Rooney

Personally, I'd be happy with a variety - some towers set back, other ones not. This is Holst, so I expect it will look cool, given a lot their past work. Better this building coming right up to the street than some of the other ones.


I would urge everyone to not forget the intrinsic character of the Pearl District. It was comprised largely of industrial structures that hit the ground with little apology and were built simply to the edge of the sidewalk. This is a condition of walls. It is unique, and if responded to with sensitivity, could produce a unique urban condition. This is not a town-scape. It is not a New England village or a city beautiful artifact. It is not downtown or the east side. Sometimes you have to put away some of the new urbanist lessons to allow something unique to occur, even if the resulting environment is severe. If you always apply the same "proven" rules, you run the risk of compromising true potential.


Other buildings in the Pearl of this size (like the Henry, Elizabeth and Gregory) at least partially step back from the street as they get taller or have some variation in the massing of the building to break up its scale. This is, exactly as cab said, a large wall. If that wasnt enough, all the windows just overemphasize the size of the building even more. Plus the appearance of the building is atrocious, looks like Pruitt-Igoe with red splotches on the side. I'm shocked that not 1 but 3 major firms designed this.

Buildings like 937 will ruin the Pearl District, yet its not like there arent successful modern buildings going up in the Pearl... The Metropolitan and the Casey are two good examples of modern design that successfully add to the neighborhood as does the existing Edge Lofts.

Randy Rapaport

I think they should have designed a more monolithic-monumental-fractal form that Louis Kahn would have appreciated. Too bad that they had to break up that possibility with those red-vertical- rectangular balcony treatments. Another missed opportunity. At least it's modern and the scale is intelligent and appropriate.

Charlie Burr

Does anyone know what the environmental performance of this building will be? Are they going for a LEEDS certification?


Apparently they're aiming for a LEED Silver rating.

As for the issue of setbacks, the Pearl is filled with buildings that abutt the sidewalk without setbacks. Granted, generally speaking, setbacks are a good thing. But they're not the only thing that matters regarding whether or not a building adds to or detracts from the life of a neighborhood.

At least as important, I'd argue, is what's on the ground floor of the building. The most successful buildings in the Pearl are those that have ground-floor occupants which invite street life: restaurants, bars, salons, banks, offices, boutiques. The least successful are those that do not, by filling their street level spaces with parking, etc. The 24-Hour Fitness facility in the Pearl is only two stories tall, but it's an uninviting monolith that occupies an entire block, and no one has any reason to set foot on that block unless they're heading for the gym. THAT's dehumanizing. In contrast, many of the new condo buildings in the Pearl -- regardless of height or design -- generate all sorts of wonderful urban activity because they fill an entire block with active storefronts.

The renderings of the 937 appear to show retail space at street level. That's what's important. As is the increased population density that 16 stories of apartments will generate. Those are the things that humanize the neighborhood.


So Ankrom is doing the interiors and docs and Holst is the skin. I've never been inside a Holst building, but judging from the drawings of this building, they have disconnected the skin from the interiors. Will these condos be great places to live or just an akward cube to store stuff. Maybe thats the way to encourage street life, make condos people want to look at but not spend time in.


I think the interiors will benefit a great deal simply from the fact that the tall, thin floorplate will allow in a lot more light. That's half the battle right there as far as I'm concerned.


As for the style, check out this link, direct to Rafael Moneo.


A definite connection to the Moneo facade. undeniable. But you can find a precedent for anything.
How can anyone judge the interiors based on a couple renderings of the exterior. That's quite a leap. I'd assume interior renderings will be available once a sales campaign begins. As far as being inside a Holst building, check their website, they've done plenty of work around town, alot of which has been interiors based. I also don't believe that there has been a clear seperation between Holst doing the skin and Ankrom doing the interiors. I believe it's been a collaboration, if you choose to belive so.


just some actual dimensions for you for all you people freaking about the tower being the full 200' long. it's not. it's pulled back from the east and west edges around 12' or so on both sides, tower is around 175ish feet long.
now go compare it to some other buildings in the immediate neighborhood.

method man

FYI- Ankrom Moisan is doing far more than the interiors, they are making the building work, past the concept. They are doing all the actual interior and exterior working drawings. It's a very collaborative process. Holst is learning about the challenges of viability in a developer condo of this scale, as they have never done anything this large. Meanwhile, Ankrom is trying to make the challenging concept work. The floorplans are very different than what other developers have required in their unit plan mix, in the past.
If executed well, the end result could be quite elegant.

Brian Libby

I apologize if my description of Ankrom's role in 937 was inaccurate or didn't give the firm enough credit. I have tremendous respect for AMAA's ability to make this and so many buildings work. It's a very complicated, difficult process, and the firm seems to do a very good job of it. Unfortunately for Ankrom, it's easy to reserve the most excitement for the basic 'look' of the building, which I understand Holst to be largely responsible for. Still, this seems like a winning partnership and I hope to see more of it.

Kenneth Kuenster

As a resident of the Pearl, I would suggest that 937 cease to pollute the sky every night with their red 9-3-7 ad infinitum on top of the crane. It's like the nine-year-old kid in the back of the class popping his bubble gum repeatedly for attention. I would expect more from a building reaching for LEED rating. We all know by now the building is going up and we know the address. How about a little class?


There's more info on the project their website at www.937condominiums.com

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