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Ken Bauer

I hear you on this. Maybe these centers could be retrofited with Glass ceilings to let natural light in. Also indoor vegetation and water features could add to the ambiance of the inner halls. All these ideas could add to making these facilities less sterile.


unfortunately, most of the people who make their living from huge conferences, or attend them, are a-holes and do not care about local color or green... unless you are referring to money. The out of towners who stay at a huge corporate hotel and eat at Applebees and rent cars (despite everything being easy MAX). I think the convention center is rather nice from the outside, very nice in fact, the vines on the back, the landscaping, the connection to transit, the visual connection to downtown, the construction quality are all great things. I couldn't care less about the interiors: designed by committee and paid for by greed. But i will take the nurse log thank you.

Mike Barker

Here is an interesting take on the issue - quotes from Keith Yancey.

So it seems the Professional know about this - its probably the budgets that prevent the use of carfully controlled daylight ?

Quote :-

“Anyone who has ever walked the exhibition halls of a traditional convention center is familiar with the slightly dazed feeling of time standing still. The standard function of a “black box” convention space, after all, is to make exhibited products look the same whether it’s eight in the morning or six in the evening.

“It’s like a sensory deprivation tank,” laughs Keith Yancey, senior associate of Cambridge, Massachusetts–based LAM Partners, the lighting firm that collaborated with Rafael Viñoly Architects on redefining the trade-show experience at
the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittburgh. “

End Quote


I hate to break it to you Brian, but Pittsburgh has already beaten us to this one. Their convention center is everything you wish ours was.


Very good comments! The answer may be somewhere in your consideration of the Pearl District's half-a-dozen venues spread throughout the district. If there were a logistical management strategy for an out of town convention to use all those venues throughout a district at once, it would be a much more engaging, urban, and economically stimulating experience for conventioneers and the citizens alike. A mixed-use civic district, in which convention-goers walk down streets past shops, galleries, apartments and restaurants, is allot more engaging and multifunctional than the current "big box convention" model.

In contrast, convention centers have only one function: conventions. As you stated, participants rarely leave the building to engage with the rest of the city. And citizens of the city infrequently use the convention building, at least in my experience.

Break convention centers into several smaller buildings with civic spaces, streets, retail and residents in between. Let's think urban, not suburban 'big box'.


visitors hate the Rain , unless you build tunnels thru the pearl , good luck


tunnels... love it. go one step further, build the whole thing underground with attached mega hotel above. oh, wait, i am sure that has already been done.


Just hand out rain slickers in the little convention bag of tricks, and send them out onto the street. They'll love the fresh air, people-watching, and street life.

Otherwise, we might as well give up, remove streets, and build mega-malls, as was done in many America downtowns in the '60's....so that shoppers could avoid the rain.


Nice work on your article. Thank you for showing this article online and the photo look so excellent. Keep up the good work.

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