Saturday, May 18, 2013

Octagon Design Committee Report

A vision for The Octagon (all images courtesy of Willard C. Dixon, Architect LLC)
The AIA-Southwestern Oregon Octagon Design Committee has developed its vision for the future of our chapter's new Center for Architecture, the Octagon (located at 92 East Broadway in downtown Eugene). The members of the committee are excited about the design concept they've come up with and now want to share it with everyone.

The committee has posted its schematic design drawings behind one of the Octagon’s glass facets (alongside the Center’s current exhibit describing the 7 Pillars of Envision Eugene). I stopped by and took the opportunity to check out the drawings. I left suitably impressed.

The proposed design is clearly a project that can be achieved incrementally, at modest cost, and provide the biggest bang for the buck. Its signature gesture is an array of linear LED light fixtures. They’ll be like nothing if not so many shooting stars flashing across the firmament. Transcending its compact boundary, the fixtures will trace glowing lines on the Octagon’s ceiling and the surrounding soffit outside.(1) I expect the overall effect will greatly improve and draw attention to the Octagon’s presence when viewed from Broadway or Oak Street, particularly at night. 

Reflected ceiling plan

According to 2013 AIA-SWO president Will Dixon, AIA, the next step for the project is the production of construction documents (for which his firm will be responsible) and donor solicitation. The hoped-for timeline proposes executing the actual improvements this summer. If all goes to plan, AIA-SWO will celebrate with a Grand Opening party on October 4th! 

Wall Section

Here’s a list of the Octagon Design Committee members. Provide them with your feedback about the proposed design and also be sure to thank them for their considerable donation of time and energy to this exciting project:
  • Sara Bergsund, AIA – Champion
  • Will Dixon, AIA
  • Travis Sheridan, Assoc. AIA
  • Yingying Liu, Assoc. AIA
  • Aaron Buckman, Assoc. AIA
  • Todd Miller, AIA
  • Kurt Albrecht, AIA
  • Renee Benoit, Assoc. AIA
  • Scott Clarke, AIA
  • Jenni Rogers, Assoc. AIA
  • Gabe Cross
  • Don Kahle

(1)  The one reservation I have about the concept has to do with how it would be executed: it seems the installation of the many separate LED fixtures will necessitate extensive cutting and patching of the existing exterior soffit in order to conceal the wiring between them.

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