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  #61  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2015, 6:51 PM
TowerPower TowerPower is offline
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The design is horrible. A kid playing with blocks could do better (which is very much what the building resembles- a stack of blocks).
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  #62  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2015, 8:17 PM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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The issue is the height limit, apparently. It maximizes the 175' height limit and 6:1 FAR (with 3:1 bonus they are seeking). If the height limit was expanded, they could actually create a tower. A tower on the SW corner of the lot could help move mass and shading away from the Halprin park.
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  #63  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2015, 9:24 PM
ORNative ORNative is offline
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HUB Height Limit

It appears that the parcel is proposed to increase from 175' to 225' under the 2035 plan which is up for vote this year.
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  #64  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2015, 10:15 PM
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Even if there were no height restriction, wouldn't it be more expensive to build a tower? Would a tall slender tower pencil out? Obviously, we can only speculate on that.
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  #65  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2015, 1:23 AM
maccoinnich maccoinnich is offline
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Yesterday HUB gave its presentation on the modified design to the Design Review Commission. I had opportunity to drop in several times during the course of the presentation and testimony. While I am not sold on the design, the speakers appeared thoughtful and considerate of the suggestions previously made by the Commission. The neighbors, however, were not appeased.

There was a parade of individuals testifying against the design, and one individual whose comments were endorsed by 65 others. Among their concerns were: Lot line - unlike other towers in the neighborhood which are set back and surrounded by landscaped, park-like grounds, HUB builds up from the property lines with little regard for landscaping. The landscaped areas of the building are internal and for exclusive use of residents. It does not create a public space, but instead a gated community feel; Massing - the building mass will cast a significant shadow on neighborhood parks, potentially damaging the vegetation and impacting park use. Neighbors recommended a study on the impact of the shadow, not just the amount of shadow.

Interestingly, neighbors appeared to prefer a taller, slimmer building. The primary opposition was to full-block massing of the structure. At least from those whom I heard testify.
Did you get any sense for what the Design Commission's feelings on the massing are?
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  #66  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2015, 1:26 AM
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It appears that the parcel is proposed to increase from 175' to 225' under the 2035 plan which is up for vote this year.
Ugh, that is way too low of a height limit for any part of downtown. Granted, we don't know if they would actually build taller had the limit been set at a higher limit, but we should be allowing for taller buildings in this part of downtown.
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  #67  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2015, 11:57 AM
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Its bulky, squatty and bland. You'd think they'd at least include a green roof.
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  #68  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2015, 1:42 PM
Encolpius Encolpius is offline
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Setbacks for the upper stories would improve the massing of this building and hopefully allow more light to reach neighboring parks. I don't know if this is as much of a problem at the point where building meets sidewalk. Plenty of buildings nearby are pointlessly set back from the street and consequently create dead streets.

The criticism that it will be a gated community (for eighteen-to-twentysomethings, perversely) and creates no public space is spot on. Nearby you have the Urban Plaza, a great public space, and that whole warren of 'pedestrian trails' around Pettygrove Park. Any new construction should preserve and contribute to the open and accessible format that is uniquely appealing about this neighborhood.
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  #69  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2015, 4:47 PM
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Is there still a market proposed on the ground floor? Did the Cyan building next door not max out its FAR?
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  #70  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2015, 1:23 AM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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Originally Posted by Encolpius View Post
The criticism that it will be a gated community (for eighteen-to-twentysomethings, perversely) and creates no public space is spot on. Nearby you have the Urban Plaza, a great public space, and that whole warren of 'pedestrian trails' around Pettygrove Park. Any new construction should preserve and contribute to the open and accessible format that is uniquely appealing about this neighborhood.
All of the buildings that front (rear?) Pettygrove Park and the Halprin trails are gated; from the Harrison condos, 200 Market, Cyan, the list goes on. None of those buildings offer public space, they are all private with fences, private pools, private carports, etc. So that isn't anything new.

As an anecdote, 200 Market employs private security who will actually detain you if you trespass.

It should be noted that public space in downtown Portland can be quite problematic due to the transient and homeless population, who will inhabit almost any space that offers shelter unless actively patrolled. This isn't the greatest combination for residential housing...
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  #71  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2015, 8:02 AM
Encolpius Encolpius is offline
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All of the buildings that front (rear?) Pettygrove Park and the Halprin trails are gated; from the Harrison condos, 200 Market, Cyan, the list goes on. None of those buildings offer public space, they are all private with fences, private pools, private carports, etc. So that isn't anything new.
Fair point. I admit it's perhaps unfair to expect this project to offer public space in a way that existing private developments in the area do not. However, at least these other buildings are massed and situated in ways that are careful of the public spaces around them, particularly the pedestrian trails. I don't see any evidence that MGA's lead architect thought about its relationship to the parks and trails surrounding it (guess it was left entirely to the landscape architect entrusted with 6' strips facing north and east). It's thus revealing that the bordering pedestrian trails are literally effaced (turned into vehicular streets) in the architect's rendering. And I've yet to see a rendering that includes Pettygrove Park, even though it's not only catercorner, it's fully in the building's shadow.

On a more positive note, I agree with you that the facade detailing is interesting.

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It should be noted that public space in downtown Portland can be quite problematic due to the transient and homeless population, who will inhabit almost any space that offers shelter unless actively patrolled. This isn't the greatest combination for residential housing...
Well, the ground floor of this building will be commercial (supermarket?). Buildings with residential above commercial can of course offer vibrant public space: here's a powerful example from London, but I think there are good precedents in Portland as well. Anyway, it's sad that homelessness is so pervasive, and disgusting to think that the failure to adequately house our population might be treated as a reasonable pretext for making high-end market-rate apartment buildings more fortresslike. But if the trails and Lovejoy Park have not yet become Hoovervilles, why should we be any more concerned about this lot?
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  #72  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2015, 8:20 PM
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How does an architect design a building of this magnitude next to a park designed by an award winning architect and get the basics of the street grid wrong? How could they possible get the building to meet the street appropriately. Is this amateur hour or just standard practice? A building designed in isolation with no connection at all to place.
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  #73  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2015, 9:24 PM
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How does an architect design a building of this magnitude next to a park designed by an award winning architect and get the basics of the street grid wrong? How could they possible get the building to meet the street appropriately. Is this amateur hour or just standard practice? A building designed in isolation with no connection at all to place.
That may sound harsh, but it's the exact same thing I was thinking. I couldn't help wondering if they'd even been to Portland. How could anyone design a building for a site without knowing the site well enough to notice it has no street on its east side?
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  #74  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2015, 9:08 PM
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The person who made this rendering would certainly not be the person who designed this building. This kind of blooper with the driveways happens all the time when presentation drawings are coming fast and furious. While it is regrettable that the sidewalk may be shown incorrectly, it's hardly the most important thing in the shot.

I would be interested in seeing renderings on what the building looks like from Pettygrove park. In general, most buildings on the superblock have pulled away from the park to allow it to feel larger than it really is. This building would be a huge departure from that design language.

When THA designed Cyan/PDX, they did massing studies for a building on this block that had a similar sized to the Cyan building fronting Harrison. This space between the buildings on the West side would allow views past all building and afternoon light through to the park.
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  #75  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2015, 9:54 PM
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While it is regrettable that the sidewalk may be shown incorrectly
It's not just the sidewalk. They place the building on a street it's not on - a street that doesn't exist.
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  #76  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2015, 10:12 PM
mmeade mmeade is offline
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It's not just the sidewalk. They place the building on a street it's not on - a street that doesn't exist.
It's likely that a rendering company or graphics professional not working with the design team made that rendering, not either of the architecture firms involved with the project. In other words, someone not familiar with the project was handed a model and a photo and assigned the task of making it real.

The fact that it is wrong is hardly surprising to me.
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  #77  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2015, 9:34 PM
maccoinnich maccoinnich is offline
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I just listened to the audio of the February 19th hearing. The Design Commission was extremely clear that they think the massing is entirely inappropriate for the site, and that the changes made since December were not adequate to address the concerns raised at the first hearing.
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  #78  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2015, 10:17 PM
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Latest drawings [PDF - 2MB]. It looks like they've taken a step back after the extremely negative reaction of the Commission at the last hearing. Unfortunately, I don't think any of the massing alternatives are much better.
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  #79  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2015, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by maccoinnich View Post
Latest drawings [PDF - 2MB]. It looks like they've taken a step back after the extremely negative reaction of the Commission at the last hearing. Unfortunately, I don't think any of the massing alternatives are much better.
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  #80  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2015, 1:51 AM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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Yeah, looks like they're stuck. They busted out the sketchup models and everything.

Funny how they put the loading bay in a place that clearly won't work...
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