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Agustin Enriquez

This is an idea that has been floated in Portland before. It was discussed with respect to South Waterfront. The idea was to have a variety of designs for the townhomes to give the blocks less of a monolithic quality. Logistically, this becomes a challenge because it increases the coordination work and can make hitting the schedule very difficult. (Of course there are other issues about control, design aesthetic, increased fees, etc. but all of those things can be worked through.)

In the end, the overall goal down there by the developers is exactly that idea--get a varied appearance to the area by having different architects touch each project. To date, there are 6 buildings under construction and numerous architects have played the part of design lead: 2 for GBD, 1 for TVA, 1 for THA, 1 for Busby Perkins + Will, and 1 for AMA.


Arkitema is a Danish firm, not Dutch.

The firm behind the masterplan is Soeters Van Eldonk, which also masterplanned Java Island in Amsterdam's harbor - a similar project that received lots of press and includes varied facades designed by a number of Dutch firms.


I like the idea very much. I think with a little bit of zoning overlay such as setbacks, hieght etc it could be very rich. This is not south waterfront though. I am afraid that even if they dressed up facades at the base of john ross, meriwhether or Atwater we would still see a homogenity! Each are interesting but rather than drawing a parallel to the facade idea which would have the richness, the SoWA examples are each separated by one or two simple characteristics and the rest just blurs together.


I would have rather seen the mixed-use projects in Mississippi and Belmont take on this technique of breaking the facade down into individualistic pieces, rather than literally breaking the linear streetwall down into separate components and destroying its linearity...

Remember the neighborhood opposition to the Mississippi Street Lofts? It seems that most architectural firms and developers in Portland are still uncreative in their solutions to problems.

This 'variegating the facades' is a fairly standard approach to building design in Europe...

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