Portland Celebrates Architecture
by B.J. Novitski
Once a year, in many American cities, architects set aside a week to celebrate the built environment and to share their passion for it with the general public. This so-called "Architecture Week," (no relation to the on-line magazine) also gives the profession an opportunity to further its own education and to honor peers for their accomplishments.
This week, ArchitectureWeek—the magazine—spotlights Portland, Oregon, one of several cities engaged in these annual celebrations. (For a related design story, see "PDX Comes In Out of the Rain.")
The civic component of the mid-October event was sponsored primarily by the American Institute of Architects/Portland. Saundra Stevens, executive vice president of this AIA chapter, points out that Portland is a "model for the nation in terms of its urban planning ...which has been fostered by its architectural community. Architecture Week provides a unique forum for the public to experience Portland through the eyes of an architect."
Tour of Homes
One way the public tried out this viewpoint was through the tour of homes designed by local architects. These are often showcases of Craftsman, Northwest, or Victorian traditions. One such house was designed by Kara Adams for a couple who added their own touch by building it themselves.
The house does double duty as gallery for the couple's extensive art collection. In the central living area, the two-story, stair-stepped windows—like most windows in the house—feature views out to the dense woods of Portland's west hills.
Something for Everyone
For lay people inspired by the houses they visit, this week of celebration also features a seminar on how to select and work for an architect. Other events include an exhibit of paintings and sculptures by local architects and a lecture by the renowned Vietnam Veterans Memorial designer Maya Lin.
Winterpark Plaza will function as the main gathering place and urban icon for the Hoyt Street shopping and entertainment district. Its park will feature an informal arena that will convert to an ice skating rink in the winter.
Image: Carrier Johnson
The Park Galleria features a signature restaurant in a "glass house," creating the illusion of dining "in the park."
Image: Carrier Johnson
Click on thumbnail images
to view full-size pictures.