Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Spaces open

I was rummaging through the internet and found a call for interns for Portland Monthly's new Randy Gragg-led shelter-ish magazine that also contained details about the mag itself.

From the email:

"Debuting in January, Spaces will be a regional home and garden magazine. But this being Portland, the idea of “home” and “garden” will be stretched.

Mission: Portland Spaces is a magazine about the design of the places we live, work, play and gather. It’s a guide for creating spaces to love from gardens, kitchens and living rooms, to workplaces and neighborhoods to the city and the region as a whole. It is about the opportunities and tradeoffs in balancing sustainability, elegance and value, both when money is no object but also when it is, by necessity or by choice. Spaces will be a magazine, a website and a public discussion series that will inform, provoke, and celebrate the city ‑ the people and spaces that have made Portland into one of the most distinct, creative and dynamic places in the country."

A magazine, a website, and a public discussion series. Excellently executed, this could be...incredible.

TVA is having an excellent day

Bob Frasca says TVA's Bob Thompson is the "leading architect of his generation" in a Trib profile; Trib itself calls Thompson's towers "heroic."

Briefed 7.31

Reykjavik, Iceland beats out Portland as the greenest place on earth in Grist's rankings, WWeek reports, but second-ranked PDX tops Curitaba, Brazil and its lawnmowing sheep fleet. In your FACE, Curitaba.

Engineers are in big demand, the O reports, as young math junkies figure out they can make more money in other fields.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I just can't make myself call it SoWa

News flurries from the O:

Ankrom Moisan is to design South Waterfront apartments that are harbinger of a development shift in the city.

Opus Northwest's East Vancouver mixed-use development The Landing at Evergreen has problems, among them no anchor tenant. Mulvanny G2 is the architect.

Oregon State University's Weatherford Hall, designed by Bennes & Herzog in 1928 and renovated by SERA in 2004, gets its LEED certification.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

No turrets, you see

Walker Macy and TVA Architects presented designs for Saturday Market's new home in Waterfront Park to the Historic Landmarks Commission during a design advice yesterday afternoon.

The commission...did not much care for the design, especially TVA's airy, modern, bridge-inspired shade structures. Full story in tomorrow's DJC, but photos of the huge model are online at the PDC website now.

Best Q+A ever

Talking with Anna, the automated online Ikea help-bot:

Q: Will the Portland store be a success?
Anna: Here you can find all the information about our store in Portland.

Q: Did people really camp out overnight?
Anna: There are many different methods of communication, some faster than others. If you need to communicate with IKEA, you can use this form I am opening for you.

Q: Who's your favorite architect?
Anna: Sorry but I'm not clear on how that particular type of employment relates to IKEA products or services. Could you be more specific to an IKEA product or service?

Q: Which is better, herring or meatballs?
Anna: Here you can find Swedish food.

Well. That does it for my questions. But if you're unsatisfied, more Ikeamania:

People unfamiliar with the fact that Ikea sells stuff on the internets were camped outside, the Business Journal and the O report. The first 100 did get free armchairs.

Expect traffic if you're headed to the airport, and a madhouse if you're headed to Ikea.

Friday, July 20, 2007

No regs on the showers for $250 a night

There was a hard-hat media tour of The Nines, the Meier & Frank topping sustainably swanky hotel, yesterday. Stories are here, here and here.

My big question was, what happens when guest expectations -- and at $250 a night, there's expectations to be had -- of luxury don't fit the green mission? Well, one spot the team's conceding is the showers, which won't be getting low-flow fixtures.

"When people stay in a hotel, they want a nice, long, hot shower," says Ken Geist, who's a partner at developer Sage Hospitality.

Revolving floors

Fletcher Farr Ayotte is moving from the Mohawk Building (Interface Engineering lives there) to the A.E. Doyle-designed Pacific Building. FFA's taking over the entire ninth floor, which they're now in the process of tarting up (move-in's expected in the fall).

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

See and be (green) seen

Maybe it's hype (probably). Maybe I have green envy (definitely). But if other cities have sustainable bars and clubs...where's Portland's green-built-bartender-powered-zero-waste watering hole?

Plus, they're better looking than buses

Homer Willams and Dike Dame are pushing a streetcar system for Los Angeles in a particularly compelling opinon piece in the Los Angeles Downtown News. Their money stat: an initial $57 million investment spurred $2.5 billion in development along Portland's seven-mile stretch of streetcar.

Building skin

Un-architect Kevin Cavenaugh of the Burnside Rocket, Box + One and Ode to Rose's fame is grinning in Bishops Barbershop's every day people ad campaign.

(That tagline gets so much more interesting once you realize the "every day people" are shirtless.)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Handsome is as handsome does, Marriott

SERA's design for a downtown Courtyard by Marriott sailed through Portland Design Commission yesterday, winning unanimous approval. Jeff Stuhr called it "very handsome."

The commission also handed out some effusive love for the Mirabella (Ankrom Moisan's retirement tower on South Waterfront) but complained -- with feeling -- about the fact that PDOT hasn't produced a traffic study and and Parks hasn't done anything on the planned two-block park. More on this in Monday's DJC...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

His name is Earl

Life style

Really architecturally interesting living spaces up for sale:

Van Evera Bailey estate in west hills, $2.5 million. It "posesses a patina."

Robert Thompson-designed contemporary in Hillside, $1.55 million. No word on the patina, but it's sleek and spacy like much of Thompson's work.

Skylab's 3333 NW Quimby, ? (Price wasn't part of the listing. But it looks serious...that's it there in the photo) What a tree would look like, created under the supervision of a mod God.

Finally, in the cheapest-and-quirkiest slot, the Portland Pullman, $225,000. 1949 railcar (I think it's been part of the Architecture Foundation of Oregon's Dinner with an Architect series more than once) with architect-designed sexy interiors. Plus, no property taxes because it doesn't actually come with property.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The first-ish LEED gold building in Bend

Media releases went out earlier this week announcing the groundbreaking for a new multi-use office building that Gerding Edlen, ODS Companies and Western Title & Escrow Company are developing in the Old Mill District in Bend.

The release touted the project, which includes offices and a dental hygiene school, as expecting to be the first LEED gold building in Bend.

Except it (probably) won't be.

Scott Steele -- whose almost-finished Steele Associates Architects headquarters is expected to get the first gold -- sent out a highly polite email requesting correction of the release (which the Old Mill project team did, swapping in "one of the first" where first had been).

I point this out not because the mistake isn't understandable (who keeps track of every LEED hopeful?) but because it is. As green building and LEED become part of the common language of building, claims of first-best-greenest-earthiest become part of the common language of public relations.

People should be loudly proud of their LEED projects. First or fiftieth. But it would also be cool if the answer to "who keeps track of every LEED hopeful?" was, well, the people making a claim.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Too sexy for their swerve

The City of Keizer’s having an ultimate it-looked-different-on-paper problem with traffic bollards that citizens find overly suggestive.

This is obviously an important design issue, and while task forces are forming, I’ll just toss this out: can adding “metal collars and chains” really make something less racy?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Architectural surveys

InsideArch is this website that's billed as a tool for getting inside the employee culture of architecture firms -- and employees of 16 Portland firms have filled out surveys.

For most of the sixteen, surveys appear to have been filled out by either a. a PR person or b. an underpaid, overworked,this-close-to-giving-the-principals-the-finger employee. Still, the site's entertaining in the same way bathroom graffitti is entertaining (and maybe more useful to architecture job seekers than stall scribbles).

Marathon meetings

Skanska's the build half of the design-build team for PSU's new rec center (Yost Grube Hall got the design nod this fall), the O and the Biz Journal reported Tuesday.

The project's back before the design commission for review on July 19. Last appearance, YGH designers weren't sure if the building would be six stories or four (the OUS capital building budget approved by the legislature will let it be six). And commissioners weren't all that sure about the building design, which they said lacked panache on three of the four sides.

Should be an interesting review. Also coming up before the commission for review are the new downtown Courtyard by Marriot (SERA), Mirabella (Ankrom Moisan) and East of Pearl (EDA Architecture and Planning, I think), all next Thursday. Sharing the agenda with YGH on the 19th is review of a senior living facility in Gateway (MCM) and advice for condos on Broadway and the office tower at 100 NE Multnomah (AMAA in its second advice appearance for this project).

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Les is more (unless the more is beef-related)

GBD's designing the new Les Schwab headquarters in Juniper Ridge, a 1,500 acre development in Bend.

Bend residents got a look at the proposed design on Saturday, when the Bulletin tossed up pre-review renderings.

The buttresses are odd (unless it was meant to be a gargoyle-buttress one-two punch, and the gargoyles got value engineered out). Other than that, I have no actual opinion on the design. I'd warm up in a hurry, though, if interior plans reveal the building contains. . . a free.beef.vault.

Monday, July 2, 2007

An idea, you mean?

Around (yet not in) PDX: