Portland, OR 2006-2009
With the redevelopment of an entire city block – a former parking lot – a significant urban plaza, built entirely over structure, is being introduced into the heart of Portland. OLIN’s design creates new open spaces with a range of microclimates, amenities, and places for activity that will become a unique destination and landmark for residents and visitors. A key feature in the park is an open, glass and wood canopy, accessible from the adjacent sidewalk and sitting high along the street’s edge, offering views over the plaza. The plaza is designed to engage pedestrians with programmed and non-programmed activities. A water element, with arching jets and a semi-circular basin, at the northeast corner will create a comfortable environment for pedestrians and reinforce the architectural massing of the site by addressing the street edge and providing a balance of built elements within the open space of the plaza. Other elements of the design include loose table and chair seating, permanent stone and wood benches, street trees, custom lighting, and a cafe. Both the stone-paved surfaces and glass canopy will incorporate innovative stormwater techniques to capture and reuse runoff on-site to support the irrigation of plants during the dry months.