Daimler Trucks North America celebrated the April 19th opening of its innovative new US headquarters on Swan Island in North Portland. As the landscape architects and visual communications designers for the project, we enjoyed touring the completed campus that takes advantage of the riverfront site and numerous flexible, social spaces.The sophisticated site design reflects the industrial setting through concrete and stainless steel elements in the plazas and entryways surrounding the building. A generous terrace and lawn gives way to a restored riverbank. A new segment of Willamette Greenway Trail features a large river overlook built on the foundation of a prior structure. Campus stormwater is managed through a variety of methods including an ecoroof and a south terrace water feature that directs rainwater from the building’s roof to treatment swales. Mayer/Reed’s interior and exterior signage design includes a massive identity monument in mirror-surface stainless steel inspired by Daimler’s state-of-the art vehicle engineering and design.Over the next few weeks, employees once located in internally-focused offices away from the Willamette River, will move into their new glassy spaces with views of the downtown skyline. The new headquarters, targeted to be LEED platinum, ushers in an era of contemporary company culture where employees are encouraged to collaborate across disciplines in a cutting edge, sustainable environment.
Our recent design proposal for the Loop PDX competition focused on activating an underutilized site in the Central Eastside Industrial District resulting in a top 10 submission for the Mayer/Reed & Toole Design Group team. Loop PDX asked teams to imagine the future of a proposed 6-mile pedestrian and bike “Green Loop” linking Portland’s east and west sides. Our design submission “seeds the loop” with a pop-up intervention to stimulate public and private development interest in creating a north/south green corridor intersected by activity nodes.Entitled DIV|7, the concept creates a southern gateway and public plaza at SE 7th Ave and Division St. A typology of repurposed shipping containers provide various configurations for maker studios, galleries, food vendors and bike rental/repair, providing low cost incubator space for business start-ups that is in keeping with the district’s character. Our submission also modifies one block of the 7th Avenue right-of-way to create landscaped, segregated pedestrian and bike lanes with a vacated triangular parcel converted to a plaza with views to the river.Our team found the competition valuable in stimulating our design thinking. Energized by the opportunity to shape a place we’d all use, we plan to continue the conversation that pushes design for Portland’s livability. We look forward to the Green Loop becoming reality. Imagine the future!
Design Week Portland 2016 will generate interesting dialog that will most certainly invigorate the local design scene. As in years past, we look forward to connecting with other creative minds during this annual city-wide exploration of all things design April 15 – 23. Carol Mayer-Reed, FASLA, will offer thoughts on two remarkable urban renaissance opportunities:
For Central Eastside: Beyond Taking Sides, Carol and the other panelists will explore new visions that could substantially re-define the character of Portland’s historic Inner Eastside Industrial District. Tuesday, April 19, 6:00 pm at Bora Architects.
A fast-moving PechaKucha Night will examine the intersection of Design & Identity through a wide array of topics. Carol will focus her 20 images on the Willamette Falls Riverwalk project in Oregon City. Thursday, April 21st, 6:00 pm at Hatch Innovation Lab.
Congratulations to Friends of the Children-Portland on the grand opening of their new facility in Rockwood, Oregon. The non-profit that provides professional mentors to at-risk children celebrated the opening with community members at an evening open house with activities in the state-of-the-art community kitchen, garden, gym and technology center.We are honored Mayer/Reed was asked to design the building signage and donor recognition incorporated into the entry courtyard gate. The design is inspired by the vision that one-to-one mentorship creates a ripple of influence and generational change.