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That's great. I live across the street from there, and there have been public notice signs on the uninhabited building about another condo. Another part of the art museum would be a much nicer change.


Agreed that the Mark is a disaster, though maybe not entirely the architect's fault. The lack of natural lighting makes it uninviting, it's difficult to even figure out how to get in there, and once you're inside -- well, don't get me started. The last thing contemporary art needs is a venue that makes it inaccessible. I'm glad to hear that Brian thinks some of the major flaws are correctable.

As Brian has often pointed out, Portland has one of the world's leading museum designers right here in town. Allied Works's Brad Cloepfil, specializes at bringing in natural light in a way that complements the art while still making striking architectural statements. His work at U Michigan, St. Louis and Seattle (beating out competitors for the job like Hadid and Piano) is terrific, and Portland's major art destination deserves a building on that level. I'm looking forward to seeing what he does with PNCA.

This all happened before I moved to town, but I've heard that Allied Works didn't even get a chance to propose a design for the Mark building -- is that true? I hope that if PAM gets another shot to do a building right, Cloepfil is considered for the job, and, as Brian urges, it's an open competition. But given how tapped out the museum and its contributors are now, I imagine it'll be some years, if ever, before that opportunity arises. I hope we can still afford him then.


It would be really interesting to bookend the Belluschi with another world class piece of architecture.

And I love your list of architects, I'd want to add Santiago Calatrava to that list though.


Calatrava is so played.


What is this fascination of star architects? I believe that the Bilbao Museum (Frank) affect on the city was pretty amazing and transforming. However, We have enough talent here (cloefil, holst, and others) and if given enough budget like the fame architects, we'll do just fine. Don't get me wrong, I love the big idea architects, but when this star architects put their egos before architecture, you'll end up with a product that will not stand the test of time. Belluschi's building is a good example of a building that forever will be timeless. Seattle library is pretty amazing in it's programming concept, but lack the execution of details. In theory, it'is beautiful but lack practicality ( white wood floors, exposed fireproofing, raised letters on the wood floors).. The spaces are beautiful though and it's totally unconventional..Calatrava--form maker/one liner sucks! he shoud stick to bridges.

Brian is right, it would be a great opportunity to build on something Belluschi started. Let it be about the art and the people that views them, instead of architecture as a monument to architect.. We don't need one liner architectural gestures.. Architecture is not fashion. Architecture is not ephemeral art or sculpture, it has a responsibility to the users and to the city as a whole. Brad Cloefill brings us back to the poetry of architecture through well thought out, well executed, experential architecture, not gimmicky, flashy billboards of shallow ideas..


and by the way, the Mark renovation is by product of trying to display too stuff in a small building. It became a glorified vertical hallway which lack the fundamental idea of museum space--belluschi's beautiful interplay of light and spaces, variety of scales and celebratory spaces.


I completely agree with Raya that this hypothetical project should not be about star architects per see, and especially not one with arrogant stylistic gestures that don't compliment the art. But obviously some of the famous architects are famous because they're great. It's that touch of greatness I'm interested in, but I think a building can only be truly great if it works for its inhabitants.


Piano is pretty good about not putting ego first, unlike Ghery or Zaha. Rem does a pretty good job as well, but there is a very definite and particular monumentality he imparts into his projects.


When the time comes for the museum to build, it shall be very interesting to see how the museum decides to have its architectural ideas interface with the park block directly to the east.

The sun from the west is a major component of this block's character, even as the sun sets. It falls on the lovely bronze figurine of a maiden bearing water, the centerpeice of Shemanski Fountain and the block itself. To lose the opportunty to experience this marvelous celebration of art and nature to the closed confines of a building would be a heavy price to pay.

It's also still possible to see the West Hills and Pittock Mansion from this park block.

Here's one occassion where a building with a lot of glass may serve multiple purposes handily.

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