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Oregon: The Latest Architecture and News

Nike's LeBron James Building Designed by Olson Kundig in Oregon

Nike has announced that the latest building in its World Headquarters (WHQ) campus expansion will be named after LeBron James. The new building is designed by Olson Kundig and will be home to Nike’s Beaverton-based Advanced Innovation team. The project will include a state-of-the-art Sport Research Lab and explore the future of sports science.

PSU Students Create Music Festival Stage from Apple Bins in Portland

Architecture students at Portland State University have created a new stage fro Pickathon Music Festival from apple harvesting bins in Happy Valley, Oregon. The temporary performance venue was designed and built from reused materials with collaborators Howard S. Wright, Catena Engineers, and Pickathon. Dubbed the Treeline Stage, the venue features seven towers of varying heights to evoke an orchard of trees.

Courtesy of Portland State University School of Architecture © Michael Chan Courtesy of Portland State University School of Architecture © Michael Chan + 15

Oregon Becomes the First State to Legalize Mass Timber High Rises

Oregon has become the first state in the U.S. to allow timber buildings to rise higher than six stories without special consideration. The recent addendum to the state's building code is the result of Oregon’s statewide alternate method (SAM), a program that allows for alternate building techniques to be used after an advisory council has approved the “technical and scientific facts of the proposed alternate method.” The decision stands as a precedent for future construction across the United States.

Framework. Image Courtesy of LEVER Architecture Framework. Image Courtesy of LEVER Architecture Framework. Image Courtesy of LEVER Architecture Framework. Image Courtesy of LEVER Architecture + 4

Facade of Michael Graves' Postmodernist Portland Building Dismantled in Preparation for Recladding

The Portland Building under construction. Image © Iain MacKenzie. via Docomomo
The Portland Building under construction. Image © Iain MacKenzie. via Docomomo

Work has begun on the dismantling of the facade of Michael Graves’ iconic Portland Building, part of a $195 million project that could see the building lose its inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Portland Building under construction. Image © Iain MacKenzie. via Docomomo The teal tiles have been removed from the building podium.. Image © Joakim Lord. via Docomomo The facades signature classical elements will be replaced with reformed aluminum. Image © Joakim Lord. via Docomomo A rendering of the future Portland Building. Image via Next Portland + 5

New Renderings Show Off Plans For What Could Become Portland's Future Tallest Building

New renderings have been revealed of Kaven + Co. and William / Kaven Architecture’s plans for the new Broadway Corridor in Portland, showcasing the full masterplan for the first time. Conceived as a new mixed-use district and transportation hub connecting Union Station and the Pearl District, the Broadway Corridor will feature the city’s new tallest and one of the west coast’s tallest buildings.

William Kaven Architecture Reveals Proposal for Portland's Tallest Building

Courtesy of William Kaven Architecture
Courtesy of William Kaven Architecture

William / Kaven and Kaven + Co. have unveiled plans for a bridged mixed-use skyscraper development that, if built, would become the tallest building in Portland, Oregon.

The project would replace the city’s soon-to-be-demolished USPS headquarters with a new 5-million-square-foot development consisting of multiple high-rise buildings containing facilities for retail, office, residential and a hotel.

The plan is organized around two central skyscrapers, the taller of which would top out at over 970 feet – more than foot feet taller than the city’s current tallest building, the Wells Fargo Center. The two skyscrapers would be linked at 680 feet high by a 236-foot-long glass-walled bridge housing a skygarden and offering unparallelled views of the city and the surrounding landscape.

The United States' First Mass-Timber Highrise Receives Planning Permission

The United States’ first mass-timber highrise (defined by Emporis Building Standards as a building with an architectural height of 115-328 feet, or between 12 and 40 floors) has been granted planning permission, allowing construction on the landmark project to begin. Located in downtown Portland, Oregon, the building known as Framework will cap out at 12 floors and approximately 128 feet, ushering in a new era of tall building construction in the US.

Courtesy of LEVER Architecture Courtesy of LEVER Architecture Courtesy of LEVER Architecture Courtesy of LEVER Architecture + 12

Snøhetta Envisions Riverwalk Masterplan on Industrial Site at Oregon's Willamette Falls

Snøhetta has unveiled plans for a new riverwalk masterplan located alongside Oregon’s Willamette Falls – the second largest waterfall by volume in North America – that will open up the attraction to public access for the first time in over 150 years. Selected to lead the project in 2015 alongside Mayer/Reed and DIALOG, Snøhetta’s scheme is the result of a 2-year design process developed as a collaboration with the city and thousands of individual community members.

The resulting plan calls for the reutilization and augmentation of existing industrial structures on the 22-acre site, giving visitors the opportunity to experience the falls and its rugged basalt shoreline and reconnecting Oregon City to its historic waterfront.

The Mill O Visitor Center and Pipe Chase Porch. Image © Snøhetta The Woolen Mill Overlook. Image © Snøhetta The Clarifier Landscape and PGE Dam Promenade. Image © Snøhetta The Mill H Grove and Overlook. Image © Snøhetta + 15

PATH Architecture’s Catalytic Condominium in Portland is the Tallest Timber Building in the US

Continuing the ever-increasing growth of timber construction architecture in North America and around the world, Carbon12’s recent topping out has resulted in its newly achieved status as the tallest mass timber building in the United States. Situated in Portland and designed by PATH Architecture, the 8-storey condominium is an example of the cost-effectiveness and labor sensitivity of engineered wood products while helping regenerate Oregon’s local timber industry.

With a growing population and rapid development, much of recent focus has been on Portland’s city center, in an effort to preserve the existing natural landscape that surrounds the urban areas. Built of prefabricated cross-laminated timber panels and glu-lam beams around a steel core, Carbon12’s hybrid construction aids the city’s densification, given its off-site construction and quick assembly that help both reduce costs and respond to residential needs.

Snøhetta Selected to Master Plan New Campus for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) announced today that it has selected Snøhetta to lead in the master planning of their new 16-acre riverfront campus and develop a long-term vision for the future of the Portland, Oregon site.

The overall goal of the master plan will be “to provide a market-driven strategy that outlines the best economic and environmental uses of OMSI’s physical property while highlighting the museum’s work as a cultural touchstone, science education resource, and trailhead to connect the community to learning and skill-building opportunities that equip them for 21st century jobs.”

OSU Chemists Discover New Blue Pigment that Could Help Keep Buildings Cool

After discovering a vibrant new pigment of blue by accident, chemists at Oregon State University have brought the compound to market in the form of a paint that looks promising to architectural sustainability.

While experimenting with materials to study applications for electronics in 2009, OSU chemist Mas Subramanian and his team mixed black manganese oxide with other chemicals and heated them to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Little did they know, one of their samples would turn into a brilliant blue color.

Nike, Inc. Unveils Plans for World Headquarters Expansion

Nike has unveiled plans to expand their World Headquarters, located near Beaverton, Oregon. Their campus first opened in 1990 and has undergone three waves of construction, doubling its size. Now, Nike will expand the facility again, adding 3.2 million square feet of office, mixed-use and parking facilities.

Loop PDX: A Design Competition to Connect Portland's Central City

The University of Oregon John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape and Design Week Portland invite proposals to define, design, and bring to life Portland’s proposed “green loop”—a six-mile pedestrian/bike urban promenade linking the city’s east and west sides.

The winner(s) will receive up to $20,000 to further develop and implement schemes.

Proposed by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability in the Central City 2035 Plan, the loop offers a potentially powerful new means of thinking about and traveling through the city. Connecting the two sides of the Willamette River at the Broadway Bridges and Tilikum Crossing, the loop will link

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.