What’s the Story of Errol Heights Park?

What are your fondest childhood memories of explorations in nature? How did these experiences influence your values? How do we engage today’s families in natural settings, so they pass along the importance of environmental stewardship? How do we best create a balance of park amenities with preservation of the wild?These are salient topics of conversation in the planning of Errol Heights Park in SE Portland. If you haven’t discovered it first-hand, this choice locale is known for its spring-fed ponds, beavers, and steep, wooded terrain. Formerly private home sites, it’s now a 16-acre public space with minimal improvements. It reminds us of the rich, feral landscapes we experienced as kids.At a public open house earlier this month, Portland Parks and Recreation and the design team shared a proposed park plan that takes a light touch. It preserves the habitat of the lower natural wetland and riparian areas, improves the trail system and provides a low-impact, upland area for overlooks, nature play, picnics and community gardens. We had one-on-one conversations with neighbors and families, as well as educators who regularly use the space for environmental education. They shared their insights regarding park amenities, character and themes. Even the youngest attendees got involved, creating imaginative playgrounds with tactile materials. The community’s feedback will be reflected in our refinement of the park design.

A Fruitful Awards Season

With fall comes the awards season – a time when we celebrate the best of design in the built environment. Seeing the exemplary work of our professions is inspiring and pushes us all to aim higher.Mayer/Reed’s landscape architecture work at Portland State University’s Karl Miller Center garnered an Honor Award in General Design from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Oregon Awards on November 2. The jury lauded its positive environmental and social impacts and integration with the architecture and urban realm.On November 5, the Karl Miller Center received accolades again from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Seattle. The chapter honored SRG Partnership and Behnisch Architeckten with an Award of Merit.The AIA Seattle Chapter also recognized DLR Group’s MacLaren Campus Cottages with an Honorable Mention. The youth correctional facility housing is designed to encourage healthy adolescent development and rehabilitation. As part of this mission, Mayer/Reed’s visual communications group designed environmental graphics in collaboration with mural artist Blaine Fontana, artfully depicting stories of self-reflection, transformation, and resilience that were shared by the youth.Finally, the modernization of Portland Public Schools’ 1921 Roosevelt High School received a DeMuro Award for Excellence from Restore Oregon for its extraordinary historic rehabilitation. Led by Bassetti Architects, the Roosevelt team includes Mayer/Reed for site design.

We are continually grateful for opportunities to collaborate with our design partners in the creation of exceptional, award-winning work.

Posted November 21, 2018
Written by: Mayer/Reed

Willamette Falls Riverwalk Concept Receives National Accolades

We’re proud to announce two national design awards for the Willamette Falls Riverwalk; one from from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the other from The Waterfront Center.

The riverwalk received an Honor Award in Analysis & Planning at the recent national ASLA Awards event in Philadelphia, PA. The jury commented, “Here we see the combining of public access, habitat, historic and cultural interpretation, and economic development in a project that’s very tangible in terms of its potential to being implemented.”

The Waterfront Center celebrated the Willamette Falls Riverwalk Master Plan with the Top Honor for plans at an awards ceremony in Washington, DC this fall. Their Excellence on the Waterfront Awards program recognizes exceptional waterfront planning, design and development from around the world. The riverwalk concept also won local ASLA chapter design awards in New York this year and in Oregon in 2017.

Rendering by Snøhetta.
The Riverwalk’s explorer trails will encircle the post-industrial clarifier, while offering public access and excellent views of the falls. The clarifier will be repurposed to feature an oak savanna that replicates the character of the landscape found in the surrounding basalt bluffs. Rendering by Snøhetta.

Snøhetta, Mayer/Reed and DIALOG’S 3.5 year-long effort on the riverwalk has culminated in a well-supported concept that has been embraced by the project partners and the community. The team’s design for public spaces at the former waterfront mill site encompasses a network of promenades and lofted pathways that lace programmable gathering places, viewpoints and three-dimensional physical strata. The first phase of the riverwalk is expected to break ground in 2020.

Posted November 19, 2018
Written by: Mayer/Reed