Category Archives: Skyscrapers

US Bancorp Tower (“Big Pink”)

At 536 feet, The US Bancorp Tower is Portland’s second tallest building.  This modernist structure was designed by Skidmore, Owings, and merrill with Pietro Belluschi as a consultant.  The tower’s odd shape is a response to the unique diamond-shaped site on which it’s built.  The result is an extruded parallelogram-shaped tower with an ever-changing scale and proportion.  From the east or west, the building appears slender and tall.  However, when viewed from the north or south, the tower appears squat and wide.

The distinctive exterior cladding of copper and silver coated glass with Spanish granite gives the building  a variety of colors and textures.  Depending on the time of day, season, weather, and viewing angle, the it can appear pink, tan, orange, brown, gray, and even greenish.

The building’s tenants are almost exclusively commercial offices.  However, The Portland City Grill can be found on the 30th floor.  I took my prom date to eat there and we thought it was incredible.  Great views- sorry I didn’t take any pictures at the time!

Here are my photos and sketches:

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KOIN Center

I’ve always been curious about the KOIN center. When I was younger, I remember going to see a movie at the now defunct KOIN Center Cinema. Aside from that experience, I didn’t know much about the building. It’s Portland’s third tallest skyscraper and was designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca in 1984. It stands at a modest 509 feet. I was able to make a building diagram by referencing a few floorplans I found online, but the condominium floors at the top are a mystery. Floors 20-31 are called the Fountain Plaza Condominiums and information on them seems non-existent. I’m always curious to see floorplans of high-rise apartments, so if anyone has information, let me know.

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