Category Archives: Westside

South Waterfront Construction

I was walking through the South Waterfront on Thursday and was excited to see all the construction going on.  I’m always enthusiastic to see development inside the city rather than in the suburbs, so any work is positive in my opinion.  I think the lack of old architecture is a bane to the health of South Waterfront.  Still, It’s incredible when you consider what this land looked like 15 years ago!  I’m excited to see it fully develop.

Here are photos of the Collaborative Life Science Building and the Portland-Milwaukie Lightrail Bridge:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

South of the Collaborative Life Science Building (on Moody) is The Emery, a new residential project by ZGF.  I think the cladding looks wonderful and it fits well against the hill and next to the Ross Island Bridge.  There is so much glass curtain wall construction to be found in the South Waterfront, it’s nice to see the solidity and color in this new project.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Tagged , , , , , ,

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:

Image

Image

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Gibbs Street Pedestrian Bridge

I visited Portland’s newest architectural addition this weekend!  The Gibbs Street Footbridge opened on Saturday and I was there to try it out.  The footbridge runs below the aerial tram and connects Corbett-Lair Hill district with the South Waterfront. Although it is far less dramatic than the tram, I believe it’s a much more significant addition.  This will finally connect the two neighborhoods which are so drastically divided by the I-5/Macadam/Hood Ave corridor.

The bridge is tastefully done. I’ve seen older renderings which showed much more elaborate designs, but I think the finished product looks better.  The structure consists of a steel box-girder, supported by two concrete pillars, terminating at an elevator tower. I’m a big fan of the use of chain-link for the safety mesh. I’m also happy to see the bicycle tracks built-into the concrete stairs.  It’s such a simple design solution but makes all the difference when you’re trying to carry a bike up or down seven flights of stairs.

Here are my photos, sketches, and diagrams:

Gibbs Street Bridge SketchGibbs Street Bridge EntranceGibbs Street BridgeGibbs Street BridgeGibbs Street BridgeGibbs Street BridgeGibbs Street BridgeGibbs Street BridgeGibbs Street BridgePortland StreetcarPortland StreetcarPortland Aerial Tram

Tagged , , , , , ,

Union Station

Union Station is one of Portland’s oldest and most iconic structures. It was designed by Van Brunt & Howe and opened in 1896. The Station is located at the Northern end of the transit Mall, which serves as downtown’s transportation hub, linking light rail, city buses, greyhound, and Amtrak.

Here are my sketches and photos. I’ve created a map of the various rail routes throughout Portland as well.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Portland Japanese Garden

A few weekends ago I had the chance to visit the Japanese Garden with friends. I hadn’t visited since elementary school and I was happy to see that it was every bit as beautiful and impressive as I remember. Even with the weekend crowd, there were many chances to be alone and enjoy the scenery. Here are some sights and sketches:

Strolling PondHeavenly FallsThe Sand and Stone Garden

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Waterfront Loop

The past weekend was beautiful here in Portland and I had a chance to visit a few places around town.  Here are some sights from the East and Westside waterfronts. I parked near Water Avenue and walked North, crossing at the Steel Bridge (my favorite in Portland) and crossing back over on the Hawthorne Bridge (the oldest in Portland). The signage for the pedestrian/bicycle infrastructure is great. It’s clear, organized, and well-observed.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Portland Aerial Tram

The Aerial Tram that connects the South Waterfront to OHSU (Oregon Health & Science University) is a recent addition to Portland’s infrastructure. Despite its striking design, the tram is not without major controversy (cost overruns, privacy issues, funding, corporate welfare, etc). I’ll avoid the politics of the tram’s creation and focus on its beauty.

Designed by AGPS, a firm based in Zürich and Los Angeles, the tram is probably the most striking piece of architecture built in Portland since the construction of the Oregon Convention Center’s glass towers in 1990. Each 12-ton car travels 3,300 horizontal feet and to an elevation of 500 feet.  The drive system is located at the lower station, with the counterweight cleverly hidden (in plain sight) at the upper station.  I can tell that great attention was paid to aesthetics and proportion- This is a beautiful system!

Here are my photos and sketches:

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: