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Allan L.

Congratulations on writing an entire, lengthy article about significant public projects in Portland architecture, with no mention of the Portland Building, Michael Graves, or even Brad Cloepfil.


I'm hoping the design will indeed continue to evolve. At present, the face to the river gives us yet another near-brutalist blocky compound.

How local is this firm? They can't even correctly identify the river that the building will overlook...from SRG's website...

Multnomah County, Central Courthouse: As the first new major civic institution in Portland this decade, the new 17-story Multnomah County Courthouse will make a powerful contribution to the city’s riverfront. An open, light-filled entry lobby will symbolize the transparent nature of the county courts. The lobby will be animated by a café, information kiosks, directional and thematic displays, public art and a dramatic staircase that moves through the space and culminates in a majestic view of Mt. Hood and the Columbia River.


It reminds me of (my memory of) their Portland Building competition entry, especially the entry and the vertical panels. Sorry Allan L.


The program sets up the architecture. Certainly circulation and quality materials are a given leaving only a facade to design. A true visionary architect would question the "concept" of the courthouse all together. So REM or other radicals is what is needed. Local or international.

Brian Libby

Good point, John. My sense is that some of the competing architects did challenge the concept, or the program, and that they were not selected, perhaps in part for that reason. One firm that actually scored the highest in the initial round told me they thought they may have lost the job in the shortlist-round for having argued that the program needed to be altered.

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