The competition entrants were asked to address several key challenges:
- How can courtyard housing be designed to serve as an attractive option for families with children?
- How can courtyards serve as useable outdoor space while also providing environmental sustainability benefits, act as a setting for community interaction while also respecting privacy needs, or serve as a pedestrian-oriented space while also accommodating cars?
- How can courtyard housing avoid a purely inward focus and contribute to Portland’s tradition of street-oriented urbanism?
- An inner Portland infill site, 100' wide by 100' deep, with 4-10 units oriented to a shared courtyard with one parking space per unit.
- An eastern Portland infill site, 95'-wide by 180' deep, with 7-17 units, also oriented to a shared courtyard with one parking space per unit.
The courtyards could be pedestrian-only or mixed pedestrian/vehicular courtyards.
Five fundamental general design principles emerged from the competition and were expressed as goals for the design of courtyard housing:
- Create versatile courtyards
- Build functional homes
- Use sustainable solutions
- Make interior/exterior connections
- Respond to the context
The competition jury (see 1 below) selected winning schemes that successfully addressed the challenge of designing family-friendly, higher density housing, and also clearly achieved the goals listed above. All of the top winners effectively communicated the importance of their ideas, which were surprisingly diverse, imaginative, and innovative.
The City of Portland will next facilitate the construction of real projects that embody the best aspects of the winning designs by conducting a design-build competition that will partner developers with the designers from the ideas competition.
Read more about the Portland Courtyard Housing Design Competition at http://www.courtyardhousing.org/. You can download a PDF version of catalogue of the project and the winning entries from the website and also view all 257 design submissions.
1. The following were the members of the competition jury:
Michael Pyatok, FAIA, Principal, Pyatok Architects; Professor, University of Washington
David Miller, FAIA, Principal, Miller-Hull Partnership; Professor, University of Washington
Nancy Merryman, FAIA, Principal, Robertson Merryman Barnes Architects, Portland, Oregon
Cynthia Girling, ASLA, Professor and Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia
Clare Cooper Marcus, Professor Emeritus, Departments of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of California, Berkeley
Sam Grawe, Editor, Dwell magazine
Loren Waxman, Developer, Portland, Oregon, Portland Design Commissioner