« Oregon's Empty Green Rep and Greedy Timber Company Sprawlers | Main | Powells Reading Tonight »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


While the proof will be in the product, the process at least refreshingly combines modern rationality with a sensistivity to context and precedent - nice to experience the vibe of "the past has value."

My assumption is that the courtyard form evolved to get air and sunlight into larger early-20th-century buildings - form follows function.

Today it seems to be more about light and less about air - will the form hold its integrity when its functional grounding shifts? Can the windows and wall penetrations create a sense that the building can breathe, or will it still feel all sealed up like modern jewel box?

I personally have always loved the glass-enclosed sun porches on the nearby St. Francis at 21st and Hoyt - they just seem give that building (with its sliver of a courtyard) a unique magic...


Let's see, a daring Opera House design and the Danish people spending money on risky and imaginative architecture vs Portland's design reviewed to death, Rosefriend aping, ho hum apartment building. I hope the materials used make it interesting and appealing (I agree with more glass and windows that open to the mild climate of the area) but as a design it is nothing exciting.

On a (un) related note, we can all envy cities that build new Opera Houses. What, they run out of old theaters to renovate in Copenhagen, have they no "movie palaces" to preserve? How strange.


I beleive that would be BURO Happold.


This is exactly the type of building I have been craving in Portland for some time because really I think we could really use some quality alternatives to the dominant glass and minimal aesthetic in almost all of the new mixed use buildings and towers.

By quality I mean a building based on traditional architecture principles (such as using harmonious proportions, multiple levels of scales from tiny details to large levels like the overall building mass, a sense of symmetry, lining up elements of the building, an overall sense of order, and even using ornament to some degree) and not poorly executed past time period historic styles used as an image pasted on the side of a structure. I like what I hear from the architects but as far as the rendering goes though its not yet doing it for me. I also like that they want it to be traditional yet still fresh. If the building is on the whole treated and designed as a traditional building I think the architects will be successful. After all traditional architecture is not about creating new forms, it is about refining existing proven forms and designs and creating a relatively quiet yet attractive fabric building. If it is treated as a modernist building with traditional imagery affixed on as is the case with many of the new more "traditional" or postmodern looking buildings in town (Elizabeth, Westerly for example) then I dont think it will be all that successful.

I wish SERA a lot of luck with this project.

I also really hope that the architects use quality wood windows with panes and not those cheap PVC ones.

Jeff Joslin

For the record: I'm not "JJ". I never weigh in anonymously. As I'm formally involved in the review of this project and regularly participate here, thought I'd clarify.

Jeff Joslin
Land Use Manager: Urban Design, Design Review, Landmarks Review
City of Portland

The comments to this entry are closed.

Lead Sponsors


Portland Architecture on Facebook

More writing from Brian Libby


  • StatCounter
Blog powered by Typepad

Paperblogs Network

Google Analytics

  • Google Analytics

Awards & Honors