Monday, October 5, 2009

President’s Message – October 2009

EWEB Riverfront Master Plan Charrette: One proposal for the EWEB site

The cool nights and cloudy days have returned. The colors of the leaves on trees are changing. It’s definitely fall, which means it’s a very busy time of year for our chapter. Hot on the heels of the People’s Choice Awards exhibit at the Eugene Celebration and the unveiling of our 2010 AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Conference logo and promotional video in September, we have an eventful October. While a chill wind may signal colder weather ahead, your AIA chapter is still just warming up.

Here’s a rundown about what we have in store for October (so far):

October 3: EWEB Master Plan Charrette (complete)
The month has already started on a high note, as this past weekend’s EWEB Riverfront Master Plan Design Charrette was a very well-attended and exciting event. Sixty-five participants (including dozens of AIA-SWO members) were organized into eight teams. Each team developed its own unique notions about the future of this important site.

The goals for the charrette participants were the same as those being pursued by the master planning process led by Rowell Brokaw Architects:
  • Create a vibrant, active, multi-use “people place” along Eugene’s downtown riverfront
  • Develop the connection between downtown and the Willamette River
  • Be sensitive to the environment
  • Use sustainable design strategies
  • Propose ways to teach about our river, our history, and our city

The most significant payoff for EWEB may be that participating AIA-SWO members left the charrette with a much better understanding of the issues and opportunities associated with the riverfront property. Those who took part are now more likely to be advocates for the master plan that the Rowell Brokaw team will ultimately present.

This was the third charrette our chapter helped to produce in 2009 (following the I-5 bridge design workshops in February and the Corvallis Urban Stream charrette in June). All three were successful, but I found the EWEB charrette especially satisfying. This is because EWEB’s pending move presents our best chance yet to establish a positive relationship between Eugene’s core and the Willamette River. It was great to make a small contribution toward this effort.

Thanks to EWEB, in particular property/project manager Mark Oberle, for inviting AIA-SWO to assist Rowell Brokaw Architects with the production of the charrette. And thanks to Rowell Brokaw for championing AIA-SWO’s involvement and orchestrating a successful workshop.

October 8: The Oregon Day of Culture
See my previous post about this event, which will take place at the Midtown Arts located at 1590 Willamette Street, Eugene, OR 97401.

October 9: Register-Guard Insert
The annual AIA-SWO Eugene Register-Guard insert reaches the newspaper's 174,000 readers and has proven an excellent vehicle for promoting the expertise of local architects and landscape architects. For 2009, our goal is to explain why design matters and how great architecture does not happen by accident. Toward this end, the insert will showcase the winners of the 2009 People’s Choice Awards, as well as highlight the 2009 AIA-Southwestern Oregon and AIA-Southern Oregon Design Awards banquet, which will take place this coming Saturday, October 10. Of course, the insert will also feature the many AIA-SWO and ASLA firms who are participating this year. Look for the insert in this Friday’s paper; if you’re not a Register-Guard subscriber, be sure to pick up a copy at your local newsstand!

October 9: Lecture by David Lake, FAIA
See my previous post about David Lake's lecture, which will take place at 177 Lawrence Hall on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, at 5:30 PM on October 9, 2009.

October 10: 2009 Design Awards Banquet
The October AIA-SWO October chapter meeting promises to be a special night at the Downtown Athletic Club in Eugene. The 2009 AIA-Southwestern Oregon and AIA-Southern Oregon Design Awards program will feature both the winning projects and insightful commentary from a truly distinguished panel of jurors. Don't miss this opportunity to honor our peers and celebrate architectural design excellence!

The 2009 AIA Design Awards program is produced with the generous support of our sponsors, led by DeaMor. If you have the opportunity, please be sure to thank all of our sponsors and learn more about the products and services they offer.

Dinner, Program Cost:
  • AIA members and guests: $30.00
  • Students & Associate AIA members: $15.00

Please RSVP by noon, Thursday, October 8, 2009 by clicking on the link below:

October 10: Streaming Video on The Register Guard Website
Don’t forget that we’ll be broadcasting, via the Internet on The Register-Guard’s website, live streaming video of the October 10, 2009 Design Awards presentation. During this broadcast, viewers will see the recipients of the 2009 AIA-SWO and AIA-SO Design Awards as they are identified. Our jurors will provide commentary on their selection criteria and process. If you cannot attend the Design Awards banquet in person, be there virtually!

October AIA-SWO Intern Tour: The SAGE

October 14: AIA-SWO Intern Tour
The next AIA-SWO Intern Tour will take place on Wednesday, October 14 and feature The SAGE, designed by Arbor South Architecture. The SAGE is Eugene’s first LEED Platinum home. As of July 2009, it had the distinction of being the highest-scoring LEED home west of the Rockies. The home features passive solar heat, night-time natural cooling, a heat recovery ventilator, sustainable materials, including the flooring, countertops and cabinets, redwood siding from the Cuthbert Amphitheater, and more.

The SAGE is located at 1261 Crenshaw Road in Eugene. If you’re interested in joining the tour, be sure to RSVP no later than noon on Monday, October 12 to Mariko Blessing at or 342-5777.

* * * * * * * *

Look for another message a little later this month, which will list our slate of candidates for the 2010 AIA-SWO board positions. The message will also include a proposed chapter bylaws amendment. Both the board election and a vote on the proposed amendment will occur at our November 18, 2009 chapter meeting.

Randy Nishimura, AIA
2009 President, AIA-Southwestern Oregon

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