Portlandia Square

Portland, OR, 2014

This design concept aims to create a long-lasting and experientially rich public place for Portland. It utilizes enduring construction materials and has spatial zones with elements that foster a variety of urban activities.

The Portlandia statue by Raymond Kaskey is the core element of this Portlandia Square concept. Spatial zones encircle and direct attention to the Portlandia statue — the second-largest copper repoussé statue in the United States, after the Statue of Liberty. This proposed new location for the statue would provide an intimate setting for the piece; a setting that would allow the public a close up 360 degree view of the sculpture. Like the statue of Imperia in Germany, we propose that the Portlandia statue stand on a pedestal that rotates around its axis, once every sixty minutes. To further the public connection to the statue, a double-ringed water feature of synchronized jets are immediately offset from the sculpture’s stepped pedestal.

The spatial zones that encircle the statue support a variety of activities — activities that draw the eye towards and celebrate the square’s core elements; the statue and the jetted water feature. A raised lawn framed with a seatwall rests at the northeast corner of the square. A bosque with a deck and site furniture is designed into the southeast corner of the square. A café with rooftop dining is at the southwest corner, and a covered patio with a rooftop kitchen garden for the café is placed at the northwest corner of the square. Skylights are built into the center of the vegetable beds to allow natural light to flow into the patio.

The design of the square’s edges respond to its context. Ample seating is provided for transit riders along SW Morrison St and SW Yamhill St. Bike racks for a bicycle share system are provided for the heavily traveled bike routes along SW 13th Ave and SW 14th Ave. Current car parking along SW 14th Ave remains, and parking for food trucks is reserved along SW 13th Ave. The stairs along the square’s SW 13th Ave edge offer a place to sit — such as sitting to eat after purchasing food from a food truck parked in the reserved space on SW 13th Ave.


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