Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Local Color: Portland

Ah, I do spend time looking around the world for precedents and interesting projects. There is no shortage of amazing innovation and imagery around the globe and the web. Sometimes I forget to look in my own backyard (so to speak). I've previously picked up on some great coverage of a few GreenWorks projects, as well as some of the local plaza projects. To broaden the horizon, our local landscape architecture climate is usually pretty steamy, with a number of local projects - done by some other folks - and some locals... here's a taste.

The news of the first project in Portland using SIPS (Structurally Insulated Panels) found its way to me via Jetson Green. The project by Seed Architecture is the first to use the SIPS, mostly due to the fact that you are not by code allowed to use. PG explains: "The Seed SIPs House is unique in that the Portland structural code doesn't allow for construction with SIPs. Nevertheless, Portland's Office of Sustainability provided a Green Investment Fund grant to demonstrate the energy and material savings of SIP technology, and after several discussions / negotiations with Portland's Building Development Services, an agreement was reached to build the house with SIPs."

:: images via Jetson Green

The project has a sprinkling of some sort of vegetation on the non-descript rooftop as well. I'm a fan of modern (a really big fan) and this house, or at least it's representation, needs some work. Another more successful illustration job is the living wall and courtyard will grace the new Hotel Modera, a renovation by Holst Architecture of the nasty little Days Inn downtown. (Updated 03.20.08 - Also included on the team were interiors by Corso Staicoff, and local landscape architecture by Lango-Hansen). It will have all the modern necessities, with a serene (i.e. sparse) outdoor courtyard with a variable green facade in the outdoor space. Should be cool - and I can't wait to see it go in to kick the tires and see how it ticks.

:: images via Holst Architecture

The new AIA Center for Architecture has an innovative facade treatment as well which i'm excited to see come to realization. Unfortunately, I have not pictures - but any sort of vegetated green wall and LEED Platinum design deserves it own post, right? I'll get back to that one.

A final project for now is an oldie but goodie that unfortunately was not realized. The Jumptown development, proposed by Bioclimatic specialist Ken Yeang (official Veg.itect). Via Sustainable Industries Journal, the proposed project had big dreams. "The 26,800-square-foot JumpTown building, known until the early 1940s as the Dude Ranch jazz club, would be converted to include a new jazz club, restaurants and retail shops. Behind the JumpTown would rise a state-of-the-art green building that would include at least 110 condominiums and 140 parking stalls... The building is not your typical skyscraper. Trees and other vegetation have been plotted to line the building’s incongruous, glass exterior and roof."

:: image via SIJ


  1. The Hotel Modera is a collaborative project between Holst and CorsoStaicoff. Important credit to be given, and you can read more about their work at:

  2. Thanks Toby for the update - I was working off Brian Libby's post at Portland Architecture for this info and didn't get deep enough into the comments.

    The interiors is in fact done by Corso Staifcoff. For further info - the landscape architect was local firm Lango-Hansen, and I'm sure a host of others...

    I will amend the post to include this information.


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