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Wednesday 10.25.06

« Welcoming PAM's new chief | Main | PICA Artist in Residence to Lecture Tonight »

Favorite Buildings in Portland?

nightbuilding.jpg
The Portland Tribune suddenly has a lot of stories on architecture and the quality of buildings in town this week. Strange, yes we have Graves' Portland Building but generally the city is more interested in people, books, food, music, art and complaining about the lack of architecture rather than architectural excellence itself. Still there has been a shift in the last 2 years.

One sign of the change in attitude is this Trib piece on local architects picking their favorite buildings in Portland (yes it's a quiet bunch of buildings, wait till the aerial tram is done for big a paradigm shift in the outward profile of architecture in Portland). Not surprisingly, the Sacks house on NW Glisan by Brad Cloepfil took top honors. What would PORT's readers pick? My pick is the Adidas campus by BOORA or the Fox Tower (the lobby is really superb) by Thompson Vaivoda and Associates... maybe the train station even. At the Organism's Gertrude salon last night many thought the Union Bank of California Tower deserved the nod, I agree it's an under-recognized gem. Let us know what your pick; Belmont Lofts, PNCA's interior, the Doug Fir, the St. Johns Theater & Pub? The aerial tram isn't completed yet and yes I wish the giant World's Fair log cabin (Oregon State Forestry Center 1905) still existed.

Then the Trib had this piece on the Frank Gehry that never happened. Good to remind people of that and overall it seems like Portlander's are demanding more quality from the architecture. I've been working on a series of atypical architectural photographs for the last 5 years so I have my own selfish reasons for this, 9/10ths of the photos are of buildings outside of Portland. Design-wise the city does seem to be wide awake now, let's see what comes of it in terms of buildings.

Also worth a look, the Portland Architecture blog had this nice post on a couple of interesting new fire stations a while back.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on October 25, 2006 at 11:32 | Comments (10)


Comments

The Bank of California and the OCAC campus are both great.
The OCAC campus has more to do with an idea reflecting an era that I love - than it does a particular structure. Whereas, the Bank of California is just gorgeous. Down to the logo, the trees and the shadows on the wall.


Posted by: Storm Tharp [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 12:14 PM

as far as i know, nobody comes to my neck of the woods for great architecture but some great homes lie in the vista brook neighborhood in beaverton-my neighborhood's neighbor. they're eichler knock-offs by robert rummer.

also, the 3 meeting halls at the the world forestry center in washington park are pretty nice. and their logo kicks.

Posted by: melia [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 01:21 PM

The Sacks house is truly beautiful. I saw it during the Street of Eams house tour, earlier this year. The inside is designed, and even decorated beautifully, and features tons of original art from local artists. They have a Mike Russo figure study hanging above their bathroom toilet. I found this humorous.

Posted by: Calvin Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 01:45 PM

How about Cloepfil's Wieden+Kennedy headquarters, with BlueHour etc.?

Posted by: brett [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 01:45 PM

W+K, and also BlueHour are great as well. It's a real shame Portland doesn't have building with better exteriors. All the great designed buildings, have ugly warehouse exteriors.

Posted by: Calvin Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 01:48 PM

The exterior of the Skylab building on 12th X Alder is handsome.

Posted by: Storm Tharp [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 02:51 PM

You are right Storm, we have a low keyalmost "swiss" thing going on... but the tram might change that. (maybe it will make up for OHSU not implementing Richard Meier's scrim. I'm a big fan o Zaha Hadid's ski jump at Innsbruck, architecture can stand out and still be tasteful. I think Porland is right to avoid stuntcitecture though, we arent on the imperial city model.

That said some of the new buildings in the Pearl and South Waterfront are promising. Meigs' Lumber Room is really nice and it isn't even done yet.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 03:09 PM

If you're talking about the Union Bank of California on Broadway, ditto. Amazing. Don't bother to go inside. Do go into the US Bank Building on Broadway.

Posted by: jerseyjoe [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 04:19 PM

An "artsy" film to watch: Marie Antoinette. Sofia Coppola has made a very fine looking film. Anyone who wants to see the heights of achievement in art direction and costuming should take this for a spin. The credits list a large company of very skilled French artisans outputing work that is truly elegant to view. The setting is a period of European history where very refined taste ruled and everything was designed to overwhelm the senses.And in the movie, image after image allows you to experience this luxury.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on what you expected to see on the screen, there is no real story told here. The film is a long series of pretty pictures of Kirsten Dunst, Versailles, lap dogs, ladies-in-waiting, and so on. Sofia C. can't even get her facts straight. Marie Antoinette was only 14 when she married the Dauphin. Her real story should be about her growing up and becoming an adult. But Sofia keeps Marie one dimensional And she never ages into the movie's time frame. Plus the Marie character isn't seriously given any other persons to play off of. Her husband king has only about twenty lines to speak in the whole film.

So in a strange piece of synchronicity, Sofia ends up doing the stereotype Marie on us. Instead of producing a film with some intention, Coppola has given us only the outer frills and fancies. Let the movie audience eat cake and watch music videos. The film is a shocking waste of production money. But then Sofia is not a very mature filmmaker; Daddy Francis has always covered her ass. Anyway, back to my original point: this is only a great film for artists to look at.

Posted by: fantomas [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 08:25 PM

Yup, we are talking about the one on broadway... a great but understated building. I even like the inside, very late 60's early 70's corporae design but its so tasteuly done with nice bits of sculptureand pottery in the soaring wood paneled room.

In fact, I have to go over there in a day or so.

Im really fond of a couple of other Portland buildings including the "witches cabin" in Forest Park and the chapel at Lewis and Clark College... which reminds me of a lot of old Norwegian structures.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2006 09:47 AM

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