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Kengo Kuma Designs Cultural Village for Portland Japanese Garden

Plans have been unveiled for Kengo Kuma's first public commission in the US. The Portland Japanese Garden has commissioned Kuma to design a new "Cultural Village" to accommodate the garden's growing popularity.

Based off the Japanese tradition of monzenmachi (gate-front towns), where activity exists just outside the gates of shrines and cultural sites, the village will provide a "free-flowing" courtyard space for events and educational activities, as well as multi-purpose classrooms, galleries, a library, tea cafe, and more. In addition to this, a new visitor entrance will be built on an existing site at the bottom of the hillside site on Kingston Avenue, just on the outskirts of downtown Portland

"The Portland Japanese Garden's careful growth is a very important cultural effort, not only for Portland but also for the US and Japan," said Kuma in a press release.

Snøhetta Designs New Public Market for Portland

Snøhetta has unveiled plans for a flagship public market in Portland - the city's first in over 70 years. Named after a famous chef and Portland native who helped initiate the fresh food movement in the US, the James Beard Public Market will showcase Oregon's best cuisine within an "ambitious civic hub" that will reenergize an underutilized site in Downtown Portland. 

"Linking the city to the river, the market will be an asset for residents and visitors alike," says Snøhetta. The market will feature more than 60 permanent vendors, 30 day tables, full-service restaurants, a teaching kitchen and event space.

Mayer/Reed, Snøhetta and DIALOG Selected to Design Oregon's Willamette Falls Riverwalk

For the first time in 100 years, Oregon’s Willamette Falls will open to the public, with a Riverwalk proposed by Mayer/Reed, Snøhetta and DIALOG. The second largest waterfall in the US, Willamette Falls has a diverse history, and the proposed design seeks to celebrate and amplify the power of the falls, weaving the pedestrian through its rich cultural and geological history.

The final destination of many west-bound pioneers on the Oregon Trail during the 1800s, the falls also served as a gathering spot and source of fish for Native Americans. During the 19th and 20th century, it was an industrial powerhouse, accommodating woolen, lumber, flour and paper mills, and a brick making operation. Yet after the bankruptcy of the Blue Heron Paper Mill, the site has been inhospitable to the public, haunted by empty industrial buildings.

Michael Graves Defends the Portland Building from Demolition Threats

Last week, Michael Graves attended a public conversation with Randy Gragg, director of The University of Oregon's John Yeon Center to discuss the Portland Building, America's first postmodern building. The discussion centered around the famed, 1980s building’s many problems - “dark, leaky and claustrophobic” interiors,” pedestrian-unfriendly parking garage, and more - asking Graves for his advice on whether the city should update it or tear it down. His response, “The whole idea of tearing the building down, it's like killing a child… I don't know how to react to that.” Read all of Graves’ responses to tenant complaints here on the Oregon Live.

Bridging the Divide: chadbourne + doss’ Scheme “Stitches” Portland Communities with Rec Center Overpasses

© chadbourne + doss
© chadbourne + doss

We’ve all traveled along an interstate overpass. In most cases they are constructed of bleak concrete, tattooed in graffiti, and built with the sole purpose of getting you across lanes of heavy traffic as quickly as possible. They are a bridge at the bare minimum, but what if they provide something more for the communities they connect? 

In a recent ideas competition, AIA Portland called for creative proposals that would best bridge local neighborhoods divided by Interstate 405. The winning entry, “Five Bridges” by chadbourne + doss, posits that the best way to do this is with inhabitable overpasses.

University of Oregon Spring 2013 Lecture Series

With programs in both Eugene and Portland, the University of Oregon's School of Architecture and Allied Arts recently launched their Spring 2013 lecture series which began early this month with Neri Oxman of MIT's Media Lab, and concludes May 16th with University of Oregon's Judith Sheine's lecture in Portland. The lectures take place in Portland, Eugene, or in both cities, depending on the lecture. The full list of remaining lectures can be viewed after the break. 

'Strange Utility: Architecture Toward Other Ends' Symposium

Taking place April 26-27, the 'Strange Utility: Architecture Toward Other Ends' Symposium will explore the following provocative questions: How is architecture’s use value defined, and by whom? How can turning to other disciplines’ unexpected utilization of architecture expand our perception of its utility? And what are the future utilities of architecture? Today, the idea of architecture’s utility is perhaps more diverse than ever, as architecture commonly mingles with other disciplines, and as new typologies of building design emerge almost daily. Organized by Portland State University School of Architecture, three keynote speakers—Philippe Rahm, Jimenez Lai and Jill Stoner—as well as eleven notable architects, artists and academics will participate. More information after the break.

Fuensanta Nieto & Enrique Sobejano Lecture at Portland State University

Fuensanta Nieto & Enrique Sobejano - San Telmo / © Roland Halbe
Fuensanta Nieto & Enrique Sobejano - San Telmo / © Roland Halbe

Taking place at 6:00pm PST on Friday, March 1, internationally acclaimed architects Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano will deliver their fourth presentation in the “Placing” lecture series offered by the Department of Architecture at Portland State University, which is free and open to the public. Based in Madrid and Berlin, Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos is known for projects that marry a contemporary architectural language with traditional settings and historic structures. Their work includes the Madinat al Zahra Museum in Córdoba—recipient of a 2010 Aga Kahn Award—and extensions to the Joanneum Museum in Graz. More information after the break.

‘7’: Installation at Alderbrook Station / Sarah Biemiller & Robert Hutchison

© Don Frank, Robert Hutchison
© Don Frank, Robert Hutchison

Alderbrook Station, located slightly east of Astoria along the Columbia River, is the site of the former Union Fisherman’s Cooperative Packaging Company, which once supported a thriving salmon fishing industry. The Netshed is a 3-story timber structure which was used by fishermen to repair and store their gill nets. Inspired by the natural and man-made qualities that pervade Alderbrook Station, such as the movement of tides, the light that reflects off the Columbia River, the memories and history contained within and around Alderbrook Station, and the structure of the Net Shed itself, Robert Hutchison and Sarah Biemiller’s shared with us their proposal for an installation inside the Net Shed developed out of numerous influences. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Camera Obscura / AA Visiting School Eugene 2012

Courtesy of AA Visiting School Eugene
Courtesy of AA Visiting School Eugene

A small group of diverse students participating in the inaugural AA Visiting School Eugene were given the responsibility to design and build something that would enhance and reflect the forest, within a ten-day timeframe.

More on the Camera Obscura after the break.

Courtesy of AA Visiting School Eugene Courtesy of AA Visiting School Eugene Courtesy of AA Visiting School Eugene Courtesy of AA Visiting School Eugene

'Placing': Portland State Department of Architecture Lecture Series 2012-2013

Courtesy of Portland State Department of Architecture
Courtesy of Portland State Department of Architecture

This year’s Portland State Department of Architecture lecture series, which starts October 4 and runs until May 2, focuses on the theme of ‘Placing’. Six internationally renowned leaders from the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, art, planning, and anthropology will tackle this once-controversial idea and discuss the ways in which the active processes of siting, locating, positioning and placing things and people in the world are conceived and embodied in their work. Dan Wood of WORKac will start off the lecture series, followed by Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey of O’Donnell+Tuomey Architects, Kevin Daly of Daly Genik Architects, Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano of Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, Tim Ingold of the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, and Julie Bargmann of D.I.R.T. Studio. For more information, please visit here.

MeasuringUP Symposium

Courtesy of Portland State University: Department of Architecture
Courtesy of Portland State University: Department of Architecture

Presented by the Department of Architecture at Portland State University, the MeasuringUP symposium is dedicated to advancing regional knowledge and efforts for environmentally responsive architecture. Taking place May 10-11 on the Portland State University campus, the event sets out to discuss the following questions: Are green buildings in use measuring up to their targets? What role do building occupants play in the discussion of performance? How can research in buildings inform and improve design practice? And how can successful strategies be replicated at a larger scale? More information on the event after the break.

Architect Gilles Saucier to Speak at Portland State University

Courtesy of Portland State University, Department of Architecture
Courtesy of Portland State University, Department of Architecture

Portland State University’s Department of Architecture recently announced that architect and professor Gilles Saucier will deliver the third presentation in their inaugural lecture series, titled “Firsts,” given by the department. Saucier is currently a design partner of Saucier + Perrotte Architects in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and an invited professor and critic at a number of Canadian and American universities, most recently at MIT in 2011.Saucier will speak on Thursday, February 23, at 7pm, at Shattuck Hall Annex on the Portland State University campus. These lecture series, which are free to the public, explore the concepts of origins and beginnings, long a subject of interest among architects. More information on the event after the break.

Video: Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream / WORKac

Earlier we brought to you WORKac‘s preliminary scheme for the transformation of Salem-Keizer, Oregon. We would now like to present the final scheme presented by Amale Andraos and Dan Wood. The project integrates elements of the city and nature across an existing 200 acre big box retail site. WORKac is one of five interdisciplinary teams participating in “MoMA’s Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream.”  Each team is challenged to re-imagine struggling American cities and suburbs, seeing the current economic crisis as an opportunity to evolve.

Simon and Helen Director Park / OLIN


Landscape Architect: OLIN Location: Portland, Oregon, United States Architect: ZGF Project Team: Laurie Olin, FASLA Consultants: Mayer/Reed, KPFF Consulting Engineers, SOLARC Architecture and Engineering, Interface Engineering, Benya Lighting Design, Tad Savinar, CMS Collaborative, Corson Studios, Karen Whitman Projects Project Area: 22,000 sqf Project Year: 2009 Photographs: ZGF, Eckert & Eckert

Portland State University Department of Architecture 2011-2012 Lecture Series

Courtesy of Portland State University Department of Architecture
Courtesy of Portland State University Department of Architecture

The Department of Architecture at Portland State University proudly announces its inaugural lecture series, titled ‘Firsts.’ The series spans the 2011-2012 academic year, beginning October 6, with presentations by six notable academics, artists and professionals in architectural practice worldwide: Petra Kempf, John Ochsendorf, Gilles Saucier, Jeremy Till, Sarah Wigglesworth and Paul Pfeiffer.

The concepts of origins and beginnings, long a subject of interest among architects, will be explored throughout the series of lectures. As the Greek word Arche (meaning ‘first cause’) is at the root of the word architecture, the guest lecturers will discuss their own ‘first causes’—the spark that led them to follow their career path—as part of their presentations. The lectures in the series begin at 7pm in the Shattuck Hall Annex at Portland State University (at SW Broadway and Hall Streets) and are free to the public.

More information on the lecture series after the break.

Symbiotic Districts: Towards a Balanced City

ZGF Architects and PoSI teamed up to provide a concept submission for the International Living Future Institute’s 2011 Living City Design Competition which has been recently awarded a People’s Choice Award voted by the attendees of the Living Future 2011 conference.

Their submission entitled Symbiotic Districts: Towards a Balanced City explores the symbiosis between five EcoDistricts in Portland, Oregon as well as regional systems and examines how strategies in a single district contribute to the city’s overall performance.

Competition Team: ZGF Architects, Portland Sustainability Institute, CH2M Hill, David Evans and Associates, Greenworks PC, Newlands and Company, Inc., Portland State University, Institute for Sustainable Solutions, and Sparling