Portland art blog + news + exhibition reviews + galleries + contemporary northwest art

recent entries

Giving Thanks Readings
Meet RACC's new leader Madison Cario
November Reviews
Early November Links
Spooky reviews
Countdown to Portlandageddon?
Mid October Links including PNCA/OCAC merger talks
Paul Allen, philanthropist and arts champion dead at 65
Midwest Art Initiative Tour
Haunting October Picks
End of September News
September review cluster

recent comments

Calvin Ross Carl
Sean Casey



Book Review
Calls for Artists
Design Review
Openings & Events
About PORT

regular contributors


Tori Abernathy
Amy Bernstein
Katherine Bovee
Emily Cappa
Patrick Collier
Arcy Douglass
Megan Driscoll
Jesse Hayward
Sarah Henderson
Jeff Jahn
Kelly Kutchko
Drew Lenihan
Victor Maldonado
Christopher Moon
Jascha Owens
Alex Rauch
Gary Wiseman



Guest Contributors
Past Contributors
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005

contact us


Contact us






powered by


Movable Type 3.16

This site is licensed under a


Creative Commons License

Wednesday 04.22.09

« community culture | Main | pnca + mocc part iv »

Design Competition for I-5 crossing... Now

Zaha Hadid's Shiekh Zayed Bridge... it is still time to up the ante on the new I-5 Columbia River crossing

So the Oregonian has continued to report on Sam Adams and the Columbia River Crossing without much critical authority here (because they don't have an architecture critic and need one desperately). For example they fail to note that major architects have built better and quite iconic bridges without tall features like the Hadid designed one above.

Basically, the proposed design is laughably bad (I've called it a casino in the past) and proves the design process is broken and backwards... overall requiring a fix. Why? because the architects involved are clearly out of their league, designing an inelegant and patronizing monstrosity that resembles the car Homer Simpson designed (The Homer).... essentially decoupling aesthetic form from function. Major architects know better, hell even minor ones do.

I've said this before but what is needed for the I-5 Columbia River Crossing is a design competition. Simply allocate a half million+ or so for a competition of top talents rather than continuing to waste millions on pathetic attempts that Portland won't get behind, ever. Architects like Zaha Hadid, Santiago Calatrava, MVRDV, and UN Studio would all be great at finding innovative new solutions that would improve the bridge in profound ways aesthetically as well as functionally (the two are intimately related in good designs). The CRC is too complicated a project to trust to anyone but the brightest architectural minds available and we continue to encourage Adams to advocate for a better bridge with the somewhat obvious suggestion of getting better brains involved. Frankly, both the Mayor of Portland and Mayor of Vancouver should welcome a serious architect so that they, not the politicians are in a position to sell the design to the public.

Update: Here's Sam Adam's letter... Still the fundamental problem here is the utter lack of architectural talent. Oh and the Oregonian is finally catching up to PORT after nearly a year, better late than never... honestly it's the result that matters. Design competition NOW.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 22, 2009 at 13:00 | Comments (2)


Here's my entry:


I say retro-fit what's there. Why make it easier on cars? They've done enough damage.

Posted by: Sean Casey [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 22, 2009 09:14 PM


Your are not kidding when you say that is "laughably bad."

I wasn't aware anyone could propose a plan so cliche, unexciting, and just flat out cheesy.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 22, 2009 11:42 PM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?

s p o n s o r s
Site Design: Jennifer Armbrust   •   Site Development: Philippe Blanc & Katherine Bovee