Holst Architecture

Holst Architecture

Portland, OR


72Foster Affordable Housing

Designed for nonprofit REACH Community Development, 72Foster contains 101 units of affordable housing tailored to intergenerational families in SE Portland—the first of its kind in the city. The intergenerational focus informs the building’s close proximity to transit, the mix of studio to three-bedroom units, and the project’s sustainability and affordability goals.

72Foster serves residents earning approximately 60% of Median Family Income with twenty apartments set aside for Section 8 vouchers. Onsite programs and services will be provided through a partnership with the Asian Health & Service Center.

The siting of the bulk of the building along SE Foster Road creates an urban streetwall that reflects the area’s increasing density. The building’s angled shape respects the existing neighborhood scale, provides a new courtyard as a public amenity, and acts as a buffer from bustling Foster Road. An open breezeway maintains the connection from the residential neighborhood to the popular Portland Mercado across the street.

The building’s exterior alternates brick and Hardieplank for texture and variation without sacrificing durability and affordability. Standard modules of thick, seamless Hardieplank are arranged and applied with rigorous attention to detail. A strategic use of cedar surrounding the entrance and breezeway brings visual warmth at the human scale. Orange painted metal details tie the wood’s warm tones to the other materials and bring vibrancy without competing with the colorful Mercado next door.

The lobby design uses angled planes to focus attention through the building into the courtyard. A clean, calm interior palette enables lively artist-painted murals to lead visitors through the lobby and into the ground floor community room. The large gathering space features a communal kitchen and folding Nana walls that open to the courtyard to accommodate a wide range of programs and events. The building’s amenities also include a fourth-floor lounge with an open terrace that balances the opening at the ground floor and offers views of Mount Hood.  

On the three residential levels, rich color frames each apartment door to mark the entries and bring visual depth to the long hallways. To meet the needs of seniors and families, each apartment unit features comfortable room proportions, large windows, ceiling fans in every room, and generously sized kitchens with mechanically ventilated range hoods.

REACH has partnered with Hacienda Community Development Corporation to bring neighborhood-specific tenants to the ground floor. The retail spaces can flex to accommodate three to five tenants, depending on space needs. Two of the spaces have grease ducts for restaurants.

The 72Foster site—formerly a parking lot, auto dealership lot, and gas station—required brownfield remediation. REACH’s goal for envelope efficiency and reduced energy use further enhanced the building’s environmental responsibility. On the roof, an expansive 106.5 kW solar array offsets utility costs for common space areas of the building. The building skin features two inches of continuous insulation, and the solar array’s energy production is tracked through a building management system with data publicly displayed on a screen in the lobby. REACH’s long-term lease from the Portland Housing Bureau ensures that the site will remain affordable housing for the next hundred years. 

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Status: Built
Location: Portland, OR, US
Firm Role: Architect