For my terminal studio I took on an ambitious project of redesigning the Rose Quarter and giving it more function for everyday life. Currently the Rose Quarter, despite being almost the geological center of the city of Portland as well as a major transportation node, is incredibly under utilized by the city. When a sports game or concert isn’t in session the area is often deserted with little activity. My goal is to make this the active heart of the city . To start my research I wanted to get in touch with the history of the area. When researching that history, the most intriguing aspect was how Portland’s Jazz scene in the 40’s was at it’s peak in this area. The club known as “The Dude Ranch” was Portland’s premier Jazz Club. The Park where the Rose Garden currently sits was rich with music throughout the day. It was the history with music for the site that led to my decision for what to design for this site. I chose to design a music center for various music education programs throughout the city to use. It would contain various sizes of performing studios in music and dance, as well as a multi-media library, recording studios and a broadcasting center. There also was a cafe and restaurant included to bring extra activity to the area. In my design concepts I wanted to create a large area for gathering and live performances which led to two large plazas on either side of the Memorial Coliseum. The Music Center (after moving around throughout the site) found its home across Interstate Ave. next to the Broadway bridge. I felt this could be the beginning of a “face” for the East Water Front that the city currently lacks.
In redesigning the Rose Quarter I wanted to really create an area for the city to unite around it’s music and arts, as well as entertainment like the Blazers, Winter Hawks and concerts/conventions. Since a large majority of the people entering the area will be coming from the light rail and public transportation on the South I wanted to really highlight that entry sequence for it to “spill out” onto the large Plaza I created between the Rose Garden and Memorial Coliseum. I wanted shops, boutiques, larger stores, cafes, restaurants, food carts, street performers, all to have a place here. The two Plazas on either side were modeled after European Plazas to create the eclectic interactions that are custom in European squares. To design this I had to really be careful and pick and choose what to develop and what to leave for further development. The main objective was to break down the current “island effect" of the Quarter. To do this I used the borders as tools in reaching out to the city.
For my final design the big organizational move was placing the outdoor amphitheater in the building and designing the floors around this. The 1st level is the street level at Interstate Avenue. I wanted the amphitheater to be a vibrant node of the building so it has direct access through the building from the street. This floor also includes a big box theater and general retail space on the street as well as a lot of the utilitarian rooms for storage and mechanical equipment. I used the plaza up above as parking below and an employee entrance. The second floor is where more of the practice rooms for the school are located as well as the main office space. The general seating for the amphitheater is on this level also. The third level is where the plaza meets and has most of the public entities including the restaurant, Book/CD store and Library as well as the class rooms off the Library. The restaurant utilizes the plaza and amphitheater for it’s customers to sit and enjoy while eating. The fourth level is where the broadcasting studio and studios for recording are located. The building being separated the way it is allowed me to create division between more private areas and more public areas throughout the levels.
The building envelope design was one of those entities that would constantly be altered throughout the design process. The final design became a double skin facade. I felt it was a way to add acoustic panels and walls where needed, yet also allow natural light in the building. The main facade on Interstate is supposed to resemble a basic musical score to represent what the function of the building is. The middle section is transparent to represent the way it is bridging the
two “sections” of the building. I also made the walls to the street and bridge much more translucent while the walls to the plaza and river are more transparent.
Status: School Project
Location: Portland, OR, US