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 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.
The Portland Building will be saved from the wrecking ball and undergo renovation, Michael Graves, the architect behind the postmodern masterpiece, told A/N blog. “It’s going to be saved,” Graves said to AN. “They told me… They said they are saving the building and not only that but we want you to sit on a committee for the redesign. I would imagine in the next year we’ll do something.”
The criticism surrounding Al Wakrah has prompted us to look far and wide for the world’s most debated buildings. Could Al Wakrah be the most controversial building of all time? Check out ArchDaily’s roundup of nine contenders after the break.
Find out which buildings top our controversial list after the break
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.
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.
There are few recent trends in urbanism that have received such widespread support as cycling: many consider cycling the best way for cities to reduce congestion and pollution, make cities more dense and vibrant, and increase the activity and therefore health of citizens. Thus, it's no surprise a number of schemes have been proposed worldwide to promote cycling as an attractive way to get around.
However, recently it seems that many cycling schemes are running into bumpy ground. Read on to find out more.
In a provocative article, The Atlantic Cities explores the dilemma which Portland currently finds itself in: the Michael Graves-designed Portland Building, one of the most important examples of early postmodernism, requires renovation work to the tune of $95 million; unfortunately, most residents of Portland "really, really hate" the building - as they have since it was constructed in 1983. Should the city spend so much money renovating a building which is unpopular, dysfunctional and poorly built just because of its cultural significance? Read the original article for more.
The Portland Building, by architect and product designer Michael Graves, is considered the first major built work of Postmodernist architecture. The design, which displays numerous symbolic elements on its monumental facades, stands in purposeful contrast to the functional Modernist architecture that was dominant at the time. As Graves explains of his architecture: it’s “a symbolic gesture, an attempt to re-establish a language of architecture and values that are not a part of modernist homogeneity.”
Read more about this controversial building after the break...