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a great infill typology - and competitions with such a fine jury will hopefully turn out some good work. YET...unlike the fire station competition - this is an "ideas" competition, at least as far as i understand it - this is prize money only and not a commission for the winner, which would gain greater participation by individuals and firms collectively giving their best.


That's a good point, Crow. (Can I call you Crow? Mr. Crow? Incidentally, would you and your friends stop chattering outside my house all day?) An ideas competition is not the same as a building competition. It's easier for the City to commit to something like this after crashing and burning with Fire 1. I see a competition like this as reinforcing the chance for a building competition again next time a public building is needed by the City.


i hope it will not be like the skinny house competition--where the 2 selected projects are actually the reason there should be competions..boring,romaticized, lack of authenticity of place and materiality..

this one should be interesting and i might even enter...

crow aka cuervo

some of my brother crows can be pests, but i promise you they are good guys! i think the city has been put in bad light with the few competitions that they have been a part of., but I think the ones that got built did contribute in some way to improve the architectural fabric of Portland. the ideas competition tend to be more academic, and maybe they help for showcasing ideas, but i am not convinced they are the best use of resources. i think the city has to be judicious with their decisions, and that ultimately competitions for real projects get better participation. Portland in general has some political weaknesses with not standing up and having integrity for their decisions. rather they prefer going out and collecting opinion after opinion watering things down to be dull and grey. A little bit of a fault in our quaint open-minded progressive little town. Not knocking the process, but at times I think we don’t have to apologize, but stand-up for what is right. Maybe a competition for a real project can build examples rather than discussion.?


This is the type of competition that allows for exploration in an attempt to find a new idea or concept of dwelling. The difficulty of this project is the disparity between the design allowing for an open and communal(possibly) space against portland's current zoning. The setbacks for an R1 or R2 site (up to 14') limit the possibilities. These setbacks are a main reason why smaller infill buildings are treated similar in Portland. Some are a little more thoughtful than others, but the concept is normally the same...maximize the building in between the setbacks, parking at grade (normally behind), and kennels above to the maximum height.


AIA president & Dwell Magazine editor? With that jury the winning design be certainly a neo-1950s ranch house... hardly an appropriate design solution as infill for a historic Portland neighborhood.


John, what do you recommend? Should we build neat little copies of 1920's bungalows in 1920's neighborhoods? Or should we tear all the bungalows down and replace them with neat little copies of Indian dwellings that might have been on the same pieces of land before (more historically accurate, perhaps)? Plenty of ranch houses where built as infill in Portland eastside neighborhoods in the actual 1950's. So is it inappropriate to copy them, but not the older housing stock? Doesn't this all sound rather asinine? Here's a novel idea: why don't we build infill that's not "a copy of" at all, but a synthesis of old influences and new ideas, uses materials that make sense in 2007, in short- of and about our own time? Don't fret- nobody wants to ruin your little bungalow dream, you don't have to be so territorial about it.

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