Walk, Bike and Scoot Even “Better” Along Naito Parkway

Just in time for summer, “Better Naito Forever” officially opened on May 6 with a ribbon cutting and inaugural bike ride. This protected space for people walking and biking along SW Naito Parkway and Tom McCall Waterfront Park is now a permanent part of downtown Portland’s multi-modal infrastructure.

Linked with a similar project south of the Hawthorne Bridge which provides off street bike and pedestrian paths, the city has gained dedicated space for walking and rolling along 22 continuous blocks.

Mayer/Reed landscape architects and urban designers collaborated with David Evans & Associates (DEA) engineers on both segments, working with Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Parks & Recreation to establish human-scaled spaces that blend streetscape with park. “It was crucial to maintain a parklike edge, protect trees and create clear and welcoming park entrances,” notes Mayer/Reed project manager, Shannon Simms.

What began in 2015 as a temporary, volunteer-led pilot project to accommodate the influx of visitors to Waterfront Park during the summer festival season, “Better Naito” had grown to see wide support, eventually being designed, engineered and constructed. Now, in addition to providing space for daily recreation and bicycle commuting, the two-way cycle track and separate pedestrian sidewalk will offer inviting access for festival goers when outdoor events once again enliven our waterfront.

Groundbreaking Marks Historic Benson Polytechnic High School’s Transformation to a 21st Century Learning Environment

This month Portland Public Schools, community leaders, current and former students, designers and contractors celebrated the groundbreaking for a major renovation of Portland’s 105-year-old Benson Polytechnic High School.

The specialized school draws students from all over the city to focus on career technical education (CTE). Funded by a 2017 voter-approved bond, Benson Tech is undergoing a massive modernization led by Bassetti Architects with site design by Mayer/Reed. The design team is collaborating through an integrated project delivery process with Andersen Construction.

Mayer/Reed’s site design respects the historic school’s classic symmetry while incorporating accessibility and flexible-use spaces throughout. Connected to the student commons, an internal courtyard provides a plaza and stadium seating for dining, group studies and small events. On the building’s east side, the CTE courtyard is a multi-faceted, programmable space that prioritizes student work areas and outdoor classrooms.

The three-year construction process also includes an adjacent new 85,000 SF multi-story building to house the school district’s Multiple Pathways to Graduation (MPG) program. The school will be a distinct learning community designed to support various alternative education options. With a focus on providing a safe and secure facility influenced by trauma-informed best practices, the MPG building and site create positive social connections and special school identity through a connection to nature and biophilic design. Mayer/Reed’s site elements include an outdoor classroom, science-oriented roof terrace, a daycare play area and connections to Buckman Field Park.

The Benson Polytechnic High School campus projects are expected to open to students and faculty in the fall of 2024.

Posted August 24, 2021
Written by: Mayer/Reed
Categories: EVENTS  PROJECTS 

Mayer/Reed Lights Up the Morrison Bridge

This Wednesday, May 26th, Portland’s Morrison bridge will illuminate with joyful spring colors. In support of the Willamette Light Brigade, Mayer/Reed is sponsoring the bridge lighting to celebrate Northwest parks, open spaces, forest, trails and gardens in bloom. We invite you to catch the Wednesday night bridge glow and explore the outdoors to discover spring delights – rain or shine!

Posted May 24, 2021
Written by: Mayer/Reed
Categories: COMMUNITY  EVENTS 

Experience the Kaleidoscopic Canopy at the Portland Winter Light (non)Festival

Do we need some color and light in our lives these days? Oh yes, we do. The Portland Winter Light Festival heeds the call – this year as a dispersed “non-festival” to – allow plenty of social distancing. Come experience Mayer/Reed’s installation in the grove at Oaks Park. We’re painting with a bigger brush, utilizing the 80 ft tall trees as a canvas. Within this arboreal canopy of color, illuminated mylar curtains reflect a kaleidoscope of moving color, picking up accents from amusement surroundings like the aurora borealis. Down on the ground, we’ll stoke a glowing fire pit in a historic picnic shelter to warm visitors. We thank our partner, Oaks Park, for welcoming this free display amid its stalwart oak trees. Come visit the Kaleidoscopic Canopy at Oaks Park this weekend and next, 6 to 10 pm, February 5-6 and 12-13. And check the map to find all kinds of other dazzling light exhibits throughout the city. See you from a distance!Need some color and light in your life? The Portland Winter Light Festival heeds the call, this year as a dispersed, free “non-festival” that allows plenty of social distancing.

Come experience Mayer/Reed’s Kaleidoscopic Canopy installation at Oaks Park. We’re painting with a big brush, utilizing the 80 ft. tall trees as a canvas. Within this arboreal canopy of color, illuminated mylar curtains reflect a kaleidoscope of moving color, picking up accents from amusement surroundings like the aurora borealis. Down on the ground, we’ll stoke a glowing fire pit in a historic picnic shelter to warm visitors. We thank our partners at Oaks Park for welcoming this display amid its stalwart oak trees.

We’re helping to light up downtown as well. If you’re near the Morrison Bridge, look up to see our 8th floor studio windows aglow at SW 3rd and Washington. We call this display “Wish You Were Here.”

Visit Kaleidoscopic Canopy at Oaks Park this weekend and next, 6 to 10 pm, February 5-6 and 12-13. And check the map to find all kinds of other dazzling light exhibits throughout the city. See you from a distance!

Posted February 01, 2021
Written by: Mayer/Reed
Categories: COMMUNITY  EVENTS