We remain committed to our clients and business continuity as we work remotely. We are focused on delivering services with the dependability and quality that you’ve come to expect from Mayer/Reed while we protect the health of our community.
We’ve reached a major milestone in the design of the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project with the release of the draft Conceptual Design Report, 14 months in the making. The proposed 11-mile extension of the MAX light rail system will connect Downtown Portland, Southwest Portland, Tigard and Tualatin.Leading the conceptual design, a joint venture between Mayer/Reed, ZGF and VIA Architecture prepared an overview of the corridor context and history and developed proposed urban design concepts including biking and walking improvements, stormwater strategies, station configurations, structures, streetscape and system elements summarized in the report. Special strategies such as tunnels, flyovers, elevators and even an inclined elevator – a modern type of funicular – are proposed to respond to the more challenging site conditions along the route.Throughout the process we’ve enjoyed interacting with the communities along the line. A recent series of open houses shared the concepts and collected community input which the team will use to finalize the report in anticipation of a funding bond measure. There’s still time contribute your thoughts until March 27 through TriMet’s online open house.
Look up! It’s new public art along NE Holladay Street. Titled “In-Between,” the banners are part of Portland’s Percent For Art program made possible by the new Oregon Convention Center parking structure. With text by Brooklyn-born artist, Hank Willis Thomas, and photographs by local artist, Intisar Abioto, the artwork transforms five utility poles in the street median to hold ten large banners, displayed in pairs. The exhibit kicks off an on-going art banner series that will be refreshed every six months with new works by different artists.
As the lead urban designer for the parking garage, it was such a rewarding experience to serve on the art selection committee with partners from the neighborhood, local artists, Portland Art Museum, Prosper Portland and Metro. Many thanks to Peggy Kendellen at the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) for her vision and guidance throughout this process in the spirit of innovation. Through the synthesis of team brainstorming our committee discovered a path forward by questioning, “Who are we, how did we get here and where are we going?” all while dealing with a very visible, complex, and congested urban site. We have deep appreciation for both artists – Intisar Abioto and Hank Willis Thomas – for their melding of talents, curatorship of their combined works and synergy to bring this work to fruition. It’s not often we find a single installation speaking in such a clear voice to convey collaboration, respect, historic truth telling and beauty.
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.