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Rodney King

Aesthetics are great but I think the focus needed to be site layout and arrangement such as how parking is dealt with, the arrangement of the units and how the units relate to green space. If one judges this competition on aesthetics, you might as well throw out the competition objectives. In fact I think the best would have been to have designs not even show a finished rendered product with exteriors but rather massing models and schematic diagrams. Sure its not all that sexy but otherwise the layout and arrangement takes a back seat to an architectural beauty contest of who can produce the nicest architectural porn for the jurors and the main objectives of this competition are neglected. There are tons of competitions that are looking for innovative aesthetics but this was one of the few competitions looking for innovative site/building layouts and arrangements as a solution to many complex and conflicting problems.


From the developers point of view, what is it about these concepts that is supposed to make them "affordable". Nothing I see would indicate they will cost less to build than anything else that has actually been built in Portland lately. The designs look more expensive, if anything. Are we talking big public subsidy here or what? What is the connection between this design competition and financial reality?


And are there really that many open spaces in Portland to justify a design competition?

Where are all these courtyards going to be built?


after looking through many of the winners it seemed clear that "architecture porn" did not guarantee a successful entry. Although there are some very nice renderings done in several different media with careful overall layout, more often than not clear diagrams, floor plans and design statements were the strength of the entry.

It is an important dialogue to present to both the public and developers about medium/small scale housing. There is a stronger connection to the neighborhood in a project like this than a high rise tower. We need more of this scale development in existing neighborhoods to increase density w/o destroying the character.

m conroy

There are some really good examples of courtyard housing already in existence here in portland. Why not borrow from what already exists? there are many great examples from the 1920's to the 50's. there are places with basement parking and the inner courtyard is level with the first floor. The courtyard should be a sanctuary as well as a place to socialize with your neighbors. it shouldn't just be for parking. that mistake was made in the 70's and 80's

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