Four weeks of hard (but fascinating) work…
350+ cubic yards of native vine maple branches harvested, stripped, sorted and woven…
…to create 9 sculptural rooms of magic.
Artist: Patrick Dougherty
The Outdoor Adventure at the Portland Children’s Museum
Large and complex projects can be very demanding, especially during the construction phase. For the design team, it requires us to focus on the details and to stay one step ahead of the contractors’ work. When the pavers are finally laid, trees are planted and the last bench and art piece have been installed, it’s time to pause, step back and revel in the completion.
The opening celebration for the Collaborative Life Sciences Building and Skourtes Tower in the South Waterfront District is no exception. After over a year of managing the details of the site and landscape construction, it is inspiring to experience the results of the efforts of countless design consultants, university representatives and contractors working together to create this modern model of collaboration. Mayer/Reed is proud to be one of those team members, having designed the public and private outdoor spaces including the east and west terraces and stepped landscape along SW Moody.Themes of transparency and interaction are apparent throughout the development. Multi-story glass atrium walls bring compelling outdoor views into the building. Indoor and outdoor spaces with open circulation and ample seating encourage spontaneous conversations. Stormwater from the building and site is visible as it is conveyed through a series of treatment planters.Soon, the CLSB will be buzzing with activity as students, faculty, researchers and staff move in over the summer. The bike racks will be full. Students will be perched on the concrete plinth seating, soaking in the sun on their breaks. Study groups will gather on the east terrace with fantastic views of the Willamette River, the new Tilikum Crossing Bridge and Mt. Hood in the distance. Let the next chapter of collaboration begin!
Mayer/Reed was honored with a Merit Award in the 2014 SEGD Global Design Awards Program for our wayfinding design on the Vancouver Community Library. The design team of Mayer/Reed (wayfinding), The Miller Hull Partnership (architecture), and AldrichPears (interpretive installation) was among 32 recognized for excellence in environmental graphic design among 412 entries.
“A seamless integration of architecture and wayfinding—a symphony of materials and finishes—a playful interplay of scale and architecture. An imaginative wayfinding system for a multi-storied library. This project shows what a library can be as opposed to what it has been traditionally.”
– jury comment
The award was presented to Michael Reed, Partner and Kathy Fry, Associate Partner at the SEGD (Society for Experiential Graphic Design) Global Design Awards on June 7 in Atlanta, GA. The award program is the only international design awards focused on communication in the built environment.
On Earth Day, April 22, the Portland Children’s Museum swung their gates wide to the new Outdoor Adventure. The museum invites children of all ages to explore this education-based, accessible, imagination-fueled, nature play space designed by Mayer/Reed.
From the moment the ribbon was cut, I witnessed energetic, gleeful children skipping, jumping and climbing throughout the space. The most adventurous scaled part-way up “Zoom” an enormous, open-branching cedar; while the rest scrambled around boulders and throughout the sloping meadows. Happy feet romped down trails and leaped from stone to stone in the little creek. Small hands sailed wooden boats down to a bridge, fashioned habitats of loose natural materials, and excavated for treasure in the sand pit.
As families filled the stone-lined amphitheater, warm tones of the marimba band rose from the lower pavilion, creating an irresistible urge to dance. As a landscape designer it’s always a joy to experience our completed projects in use, and this opportunity to see kids connect to nature is especially fulfilling.
Next up, throughout May, I get the chance to work with artist Patrick Dougherty on the new Stickworks installation at the lower Outdoor Adventure meadow. Stay tuned or come watch us bring to life a sculptural vision of the ultimate play environment!