I’m working on a larger update about the work happening on Division Street, which is our new(ish) office location and location of some past work and some current projects (see DJC for a previous article). Last week, I was happy to see that Brian Libby had mentioned a few of those projects recently on Portland Architecture ‘THA Architecture Multiplies on Division‘. While not really delving into many of the site specifics, the article focuses some of the design freedom from development funded by REITs instead of banks, and how that goes beyond the building form and integrates in with the site.
For instance, as THA Architecture Principal David Keltner mentions:
“Urban Development Partners have an interest in giving back to the urban edge: some cool outdoor space, or interesting way through their site.”
Libby mentions some of the parking controversy on the street – and offers a well reasoned argument – not for no parking, but for a reasoned parking requirement that depends on scale. Quoting Libby: “These projects come with some parking, but not a spot for every potential tenant. And to do so would be a mistake, creating a suburban-style building out of touch with its centrally located urban site… smaller projects without parking should not be made to include lots of parking, nor should there ever be a one-to-one ratio of residences to parking spots in these buildings. To do so would be to transform a vibrant, pedestrian and transit-oriented neighborhood into Gresham.”
The project at 3339 (above) is currently under construction, and includes a number of these urban amenities, including retail outdoor spaces on the interior courtyard and adjacent to the retail spaces – allowing for an interior/exterior flow that activates Division – something that wasn’t happening in this particular area previously. The THA rendering shows this front facade (which is going to be stunning) and how it connects to the street – but what’s not seen is the more separated, private residential spaces on the back of the property as the building steps back down to the neighborhood and a portion of vegetated roofing for a visible amenity. With a focus on visible sustainability features and site detailing including concrete, pavers, wood, stone, and pieces of art, the space will create interesting spots to linger with a coffee, or perhaps an ice cream cone.
Across the street is the 3360 project (above), which offers a different facade treatment, a more traditional flat frontage, which allows for outdoor seating and retail on the frontage along with openings to interior courtyard from both Division and 33rd. This coincides with the extensive Division Street Improvements currently underway, which should yield a much more pedestrian friendly street and walking zone. The central courtyard (below) will feature an open courtyard space for restaurant seating, and some private spaces for residents – with seating, fire pits, and a thin ribbon of timber bamboo to provide a scaling of the interior courtyard. The vertically oriented nature of the space required a landscape to match – so we chose a species of bamboo will reach upwards of 40′ and grow straight and tall. This will allow residents on top floors (and every level of the interior) to experience the multi-level interest of this tall and fast growing species. The space will also integrate pervious pavement, stormwater planters, and other amenities.
As I mentioned, a longer post about the sum of Division work undertaken by Terra Fluxus is forthcoming, with 2 past projects and 6 current projects (including those above with THA Architecture, one with WPA, two with Stack Architecture, and a small project near the Ford building with SUM Design Studio) in various stages between SE 11th avenue to 38th avenue – keeping us busy, and making Division a truly awesome design corridor. Stay tuned.