erosion control

Rendering of the proposed Block 37 development at SW Lane and River Parkway from the SW (GBD Architects)

After several iterations in front of the design review board, Block 37 is looking more and more SoWa-esque. The approximately 300′ long groundscraper is set to front the Willamette River just south of THA and GBD’s Atwater Place. The ‘frontage’ maintains the eroding forms created by its neighbors, and adds some retail activity along the greenway at the Gaines Street turnaround.

Rendering of the Gaines Street cul-de-sac retail spaces facing the Willamette Greenway, view from the NE (GBD Architects)

The central parking structure’s entrance has been moved closer to SW River Parkway, which will reduce the distance automobiles have to traverse down the pedestrian-oriented Gaines Street. The designers have also reduced the building’s encroachment into the public ROW, a definitive sticking point amongst the project’s detractors. Materially, the envelope has been simplified from the originally proposed hodgepodge of cladding to a three-tone brick, wood, and metal panel scheme.

Rendering of Block 37’s ‘eroded’ edge facing the river (GBD Architects)

Night rendering of the proposed Block 37, view from the NW (GBD Architects)

Overall the building still feels a bit monstrous at the ground level to me, being accustomed to the regular 200′ x 200′ Portland blocks it appears extra long on both the Gaines and Lane Street sides. The mass is broken up along Lane, but the repetition of forms somehow maintains its solidness. Regardless, the project looks better now than initially proposed, and, if built, will further expand the South Waterfront’s urban footprint one more block to the south.

Bird’s eye view rendering of Block 37’s Lane Street facade (GBD Architects)

Rendering of the ground floor retail at the corner of SW Gaines and River Parkway (GBD Architects)

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