Saturday, September 25, 2010

Inn at the 5th

The Inn at the 5th's "virtual facade" (my photo)

Eugeneans turned out in force to celebrate yesterday but it wasn’t for the annual Eugene Celebration. That popular street fair took place last month. Rather, hundreds of revelers witnessed the unfurling of a full-size, virtual façade for the Inn at the 5th, which will be Eugene’s first new downtown hotel in almost thirty years.

Designed by TBG Architects & Planners of Eugene with GGLO, LLC of Seattle, the 68-room Inn at the 5th will be located at the Fifth Street Public Market in downtown Eugene. The Market’s owner, former Eugene mayor Brian Obie, envisions the new Inn as a “boutique” hotel, catering to a more upscale clientele looking for a “true experience.” If the new project is as successful as Obie hopes, it will inject some much needed panache into tragically unhip downtown Eugene.

Inn at the 5th (rendering by Richard Hoyen)

The $11.7 million Inn will be constructed at the northwest quadrant of the Market property, building upon the space vacated by the Nike Store upon its move to the Oakway Center. The new construction will rise to five stories on its south side and four stories on the others. Obie’s ambitious goal is to see construction completed by next summer, in time to accommodate visitors to the 2011 Oregon Bach Festival, which starts June 23.

I arrived on site at the event just moments after the 8,000-square-foot wrap was dropped over its scaffolding. Measuring 46 feet high at its tallest point, the virtual façade features life-size renderings of the elevations drawn by Portland artist Richard Hoyen. The wrap will stay in place throughout the Inn’s construction as a promise of what is to come. Certainly, it is a much more interesting and creative means to shroud the scaffolding and contain construction detritus than plain tarpaulins would have been.

TBG Architects & Planners model of the proposed hotel. The existing Fifth Street Market buildings to remain are to the left (my photo)

New development in downtown Eugene is a good thing in my book. Like many others who have longed for a vibrant downtown Eugene, I’m eager to see the Inn completed and doing its part to help revitalize the heart of our city. Brian Obie has hit the nail on the head with the concept of this high-end, boutique hotel.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September AIA-SWO Chapter Meeting Recap

Some of the many AIA-SWO members and guests who attended the September meeting (my photo)

If you weren’t at last Wednesday’s September AIA-SWO chapter meeting, you missed a fantastic event. Over 80 members and guests were on hand at OPUS VII in downtown Eugene to celebrate the value of design in our community and honor the recipients of the 2010 People’s Choice Awards.

The People’s Choice Awards program is a public outreach effort conducted jointly by AIA-Southwestern Oregon and ASLA Oregon-Willamette Valley Section as part of the annual Eugene Celebration (which took place this past August 27-29). The purpose is to present the recent work of architects and landscape architects, and to encourage the public to critically engage the built environment. The emphasis is not on winning but on sharing and honoring all the work undertaken to make buildings and landscapes important and meaningful in our daily lives.

The “Colleague’s Choice” vote is an ancillary program to the People’s Choice Awards and meant to be a fun way for our AIA-SWO and ASLA members to weigh in on the question of which of their peers’ projects are most worthy of recognition.

New this year is the “Mayor’s Choice” awards. Eugeneans are fortunate to have Kitty Piercy as mayor. She is an enthusiastically public advocate for design excellence, sustainability, and smart growth. Unable to attend the meeting in person, Mayor Piercy did the next best thing: she announced her selection of favorite projects on YouTube. Click the following link to see her video:

Michael Fifield, AIA and Paul Dustrud, AIA get the show rolling (my photo)

Here is the list all of the award recipients. Look for them to also be featured in the Friday, October 15, 2010 edition of the Eugene Register-Guard. Congratulations to all of the 2010 People’s Choice, Colleague’s Choice, and Mayor’s Choice winners!

Arbor South Architecture
Osterio Sfizio – Winner: People’s Choice & Colleague’s Choice

Osteria Sfizio (Arbor South Architecture)

PIVOT Architecture
Roseburg Public Safety Center – Winner: People’s Choice & Colleague’s Choice

Roseburg Public Safety Center (PIVOT Architecture)

John Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes – Winner: People’s Choice & Mayor’s Choice honorable mention

John Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes (ZGF Architecture)

Broadleaf Architecture
Bezeall Forest Education Center – Winner: Colleague’s Choice & Mayor’s Choice honorable mention

Bezeall Forest Education Center (Broadleaf Architecture) 

Dustrud Architecture
Sonja Apartments – Winner: People’s Choice

Sonja Apartments (Dustrud Architecture)

Dustrud Architecture
Kokanee Place – Winner: Colleague’s Choice (tie)

Kokanee Place (Dustrud Architecture)

Bergsund Delaney Architecture & Planning PC
Roosevelt Crossing – Winner: Colleague’s Choice (tie) & Mayor’s Choice Best-of-Show

Roosevelt Crossing (Bergsund Delaney Architecture & Planning)

2fORM Architecture
Eagle Rock Retreat – Winner: People’s Choice & Colleague’s Choice

Eagle Rock Retreat (2fORM Architecture)

Landcurrent with Morrow & Sons
Garden House – Winner: People’s Choice & Colleague’s Choice

Garden House (Landcurrent with Morrow & Sons)

Cameron McCarthy
North Bend Boardwalk – Winner: People’s Choice (tie) & Colleague’s Choice

North Bend Boardwalk (Cameron McCarthy)

Willamalane Park & Recreation District
John B. Lively Memorial Park – Winner: People’s Choice (tie)

John B. Lively Memorial Park (Willamalane Park & Recreation District)

Nikasi Brewing Company – Winner: People’s Choice, Colleague’s Choice, and Mayor’s Choice honorable mention

Ninkasi Brewing Company (Chuck Bailey Architect, AIA)

Lucia Sustainable Mixed-Use Development – Winner: People’s Choice, Colleague’s Choice, and Mayor’s Choice honorable mention

Lucia Sustainable Mixed-Use Development (rendering by Hopper Design)

People’s Choice Exhibit Schedule
The boards for all of the 2010 entries will remain on display at OPUS VII between now and the opening night reception for the Northwest & Pacific Region Conference. If you haven’t already seen the display, be sure stop by OPUS VII sometime before then. Better yet, make sure to sign up for the Conference, attend the reception, and brag to others from throughout the Northwest & Pacific Region about the high quality of work produced here in our chapter area!

Chapter Meeting Sponsors:
We had two generous sponsors for the September chapter meeting:

The proprietor of our venue for the evening, Kaz Oveissi, was also one of our program sponsors. In addition to operating Oveissi & Co. (each year the site of the People’s Choice exhibit during the Eugene Celebration) and Perugino (a coffee shop nonpareil), Kaz operates OPUS VII as a space built to introduce the community to the creative world. He envisions OPUS VII as a social and artistic platform whose purpose is to recognize, reward, and showcase mastery in art, architecture, and design. In this regard, Kaz sees the People’s Choice display as a perfect fit for OPUS VII.

Heartwood Carving Studios
Our second sponsor was Heartwood Carving Studios. Based in Eugene, the company designs and creates quality ornamental carvings and architectural details for clients. Heartwood Carving products are manufactured in Eugene, Oregon, using advanced automated carving methods and the highest grade hardwoods. The company was represented at our meeting by its founder, Joe Valasek, a lifelong classical artist and sculptor whose preferred material has always been wood.(1)

Thanks to both Kaz and Joe for their sponsorship of the September AIA-SWO chapter meeting!

(1) I actually first came to know Joe in another context, that being our mutual involvement with the Whilamut Passage design charrette associated with the new I-5 Willamette River bridge project.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Early-Bird Savings Extended: Register Today!

An Emerald Vision: The 2010 American Institute of Architects Northwest & Pacific Region Conference - October 13-16, 2010

I blogged previously about how AIA-SWO’s 2010 Conference marketing committee, led by Barbara Harris, has assembled a promotional campaign for this fall's big event. That effort includes a series of email “blasts” to targeted audiences. This is the next edition, which extends the special early-bird reduced pricing for conference registration fees until the end of September:

Tired of those run of the mill, same old AIA conferences?

Has today’s “green” bandwagon got you thinking "what’s next?" because you were green before green was the new black?

Well then, you need something new and improved! Don’t miss An Emerald Vision: the 2010 AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Conference, October 13-16 in Eugene, Oregon. This is the region conference you’ve been waiting for!

AIA Southwestern Oregon has organized an outstanding lineup of nationally-prominent speakers and local luminaries who will slice and dice architecture’s big questions and summon even bigger answers. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore with them the power of good design in the widest possible context — considering transportation, civic leadership, land-use planning, even the effect of natural disasters on place-making. Absolutely amazing!

Attend An Emerald Vision and get three conferences in one. That’s right: the conference schedule will always have a distinguished speaker giving a lecture, an intriguing panel hosting a roundtable discussion, and a respected colleague giving a tour. You could do all tours, or all lectures, or all discussions. Fantastic! No other conference offers you more variety!

Come to Eugene next month: AIA Southwestern Oregon promises dazzling fall foliage, innovative thinking, and hospitality, all at no extra cost!

But wait . . . There’s more!

Attend the 2010 Region Conference and conveniently acquire all 18 of your annually required AIA learning units (including HSW and SD credits). Nothing could be faster or easier. 100% satisfaction guaranteed!

Discover a conference program with balance and depth. Be brilliantly green – Emerald green!

Make your 2010 Region Conference plans today. Here’s how it works: register online at with a few clicks of your mouse. It’s just that simple.

Can’t make it to Eugene yourself? Purchase a conference registration for a friend or colleague. An Emerald Vision makes a great gift!

Hurry! We’ve extended our special early-bird savings on conference registration fees to September 30.


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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Giuseppe Vasi’s Rome

Palazzo Chigi, etching by Giuseppe Vasi, 18th ...Image via Wikipedia (Palazzo Chigi, etching by Giuseppe Vasi)
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus is pleased to present an exhibit on the subject of the 18th century Roman printmaker and architect Giuseppe Vasi. The exhibit, entitled Giuseppe Vasi’s Rome – Lasting Impressions from the Age of the Grand Tour, opens on September 25, 2010, and will remain on display until January 3, 2011. There will be a free opening reception on Friday, September 24 at 6:00 PM.

Vasi is best known for his highly detailed, large-scale engravings of cityscapes and vistas. He was one of the leading printmakers of the 18th century and, notably, Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s teacher. Vasi captured Roman streetscapes with an eye for the daily comings-and-goings of both the aristocrat and the beggar, and his images became well-known icons for travelers during the Age of the Grand Tour.

Co-curated by James Tice, UO Professor of Architecture, and James Harper, UO Associate Professor of Art History, the traveling exhibition presents Vasi's pictorial prints of Rome and the work of fellow artists of the period. A unique aspect of the show is an interactive digital kiosk that displays and precisely locates more than 200 of Vasi’s views in the meticulously detailed map of Rome by the cartographer Giambattista Nolli, based on research made possible by Kress and Getty Foundation grants.

Next month’s 2010 AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Conference will include a special event at the Schnitzer Museum for alumni and friends of the University of Oregon School of Architecture & Allied Arts (Friday, October 15 from 7:30 to 9:00 PM). This get-together will be an ideal opportunity to not only reconnect with former classmates, but to take in the Giuseppe Vasi exhibition as well.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Be an Impact Player: Register Today!

Kenjon Barner: An impact player (AP photo)

An Emerald Vision: The 2010 American Institute of Architects Northwest & Pacific Region Conference - October 13-16, 2010

I blogged previously about how AIA-SWO’s 2010 Conference marketing committee, led by Barbara Harris, has assembled a promotional campaign for this fall's big event. That effort includes a series of email “blasts” to targeted audiences. This is the next edition, aimed at ensuring a full turnout by AIA-SWO members.

The 2010 AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Conference is a once in a lifetime opportunity for AIA-Southwestern Oregon members, associates, and affiliates. Hyperbole? Perhaps. On the other hand, it isn’t every year (or every decade) that Southwestern Oregon gets to be the region conference home team.

The AIA-SWO 2010 team has given 110% to ensure that the 2010 Region Conference is in a league of its own. Get in the game and make your plans today to share the Emerald Vision. Participation by every AIA-SWO member is the goal!

Attend the conference and you’ll hear from an outstanding lineup of proven winners: nationally-prominent speakers and local luminaries who will address the prospects for architecture in the decades to come. These all-stars will bring their A-game. They’ll ask the big questions and summon even bigger answers.

The playbook includes a broad portfolio of educational sessions. Explore the power of good design in the widest possible context — consider transportation, civic leadership, land-use planning, even the effect of natural disasters on place-making. Take it to the next level and push beyond the green bandwagon. Capitalize on the available opportunities to look at genius loci and the vision of futurists.

Enjoy a day on the University of Oregon campus, and see what the new generation of design leadership augurs. Spend time with professors and students, and don’t miss the UO School of Architecture & Allied Arts alumni gathering (GO DUCKS!).

Tour new Eugene projects, including the Matthew Knight Arena, the John Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes, and the Wayne L. Morse Federal Courthouse. Take a road trip further afield to Frank Lloyd Wright's Gordon House and Alvar Aalto's Mt. Angel Abbey Library.

Don’t forget that you can score all 18 continuing education units required for your annual AIA membership (including HSW and SD credits) at the conference.

Crunch time is here but it’s still possible to make a heads-up play in the next few days: Register before September 13 and win big with early-bird savings on conference registration fees.

Step up your game. Be an impact player. Register online today at
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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Daniel Burnham and the American City

Daniel Burnham on the terrace of his Evanston,...Image via Wikipedia
"Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty."

Daniel H. Burnham (1845-1912)

Few dreamers have had more impact on the American city than Daniel Hudson Burnham. He built some of the first skyscrapers in the world; directed construction of the World's Columbian Exposition that helped inspire the City Beautiful Movement in towns across America; and created urban plans for San Francisco, Washington, DC, Chicago, Cleveland, and Manila and Baguio City in the Philippines all before the modern profession of urban planning existed. Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City is the first film to explore Burnham's fascinating career and complex legacy as public debate continues today about how and for whom cities are planned.

PBS stations around the country are supposedly airing Make No Little Plans on Labor Day, September 6. However, Oregon Public Broadcasting's schedule lists the following air times:

Wed, Sep 15, 1:00 am (OPB HD)
Fri, Sep 17, 1:00 am (OPB Plus)
Wed, Oct 20, 11:00 pm  (OPB HD)
Fri, Oct 22, 4:00 am

Guess I'll be recording one of these showings; I'm no night owl!

Check out the trailer for Make No Little Plans at the link below:
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