Thursday, February 16, 2012

OSH Memorial, Bank Drive-Through, Speculative Architecture for Keizer

I continue to be staggered by the brilliance of the restoration and preservation of the historic J building at the State Hospital. If you haven't gone by, you should do so. It's easy to walk or bike by. The internet is full of pictures of dilapidation and ruin, so you can do the before/after easily.

At the Historic Landmarks Commission tonight they were going to introduce the plans for the Cremains Memorial. That's been postponed, but here's the 1890s building with a mid-century sidebox addition.

The building has been relocated on the campus and the sidebox demolished. The side of the building attached to the sidebox had large openings cut into it and no longer presents its original appearance.

The proposed memorial design would open that already altered side and make into a large window.

Apparently this is not consistent with Salem's guidelines:
New window openings into the principal elevations, enlargement or reduction of original window openings and infill of original window openings are not permitted....

For those areas where original material must be disturbed, original material shall be retained to the maximum extent possible...

Alterations or additions shall ...Not destroy or adversely impact existing distinctive materials, features, finishes and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that are part of the building. [and] Be constructed with the least possible loss of historic materials.
I'm not certain these would be the exact conditions that would inform objections to the plan, but you get the drift of the spirit of the code. The design team of Lead Pencil Studio is working on a revision, apparently.

Still on the agenda is the bank drive-through, which appears to be moving forward.

Speculative Architecture for Keizer at MOMA

Last year it was the University of Oregon Sustainable City Initiative residency, and this year it's the Museum of Modern Art. What's up with all this attention?!

For a show, Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream, designers reconfigured land at Keizer Station:
The team headed by Amale Andraos and Dan Wood of WORKac asked, "What if we could live sustainably and close to nature?" Their proposal, Nature-City, reinvents British urbanist Ebenezer Howard's 1899 concept of the Town-Country, a classic feature of the Garden City that combines the conveniences of urban life with the health benefits and access to agriculture of country living. Nature-City integrates density, diversity, a mixture of uses, and a variety of housing types ranging in affordability, and incorporates ecological infrastructure, sky gardens, urban farms, and public open space, including large swaths of restored native habitats.

Cities in Oregon are required by law to establish an urban growth boundary (UGB), protecting the open land around the community, encouraging densification within existing boundaries, and preserving forest and farmland as rural amenities. The population of Keizer, a suburb of Portland, is expected to increase by 13,000 in the next two decades, and the city is currently debating whether to expand its UGB. It lies on the route of a planned high-speed rail connection between Eugene, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, and includes a 225-acre developable site at its north edge. In 2009–10, 28 acres of this site, adjacent to an older residential quarter of modest single-family houses, were sold for development into a series of big-box stores, the first phase of a larger retail development.
The pancake stack in the center is a ginormous composting facility.

If you're in NYC go check it out!

It's perhaps strange how little comment it seems to have occasioned locally, and I wonder how many folks in Keizer even know the project exists. The tone of the project description at the MOMA site is clearly oriented towards folks in New York City and not towards us locals. Many residents might be surprised to know they are a suburb of Portland. Maybe it doesn't even matter whether people in Keizer know about it since it fails or succeeds as a concept, not as buildable plans. On the other hand, shouldn't we take it seriously enough to ask, would it work here?

I have a note into WORKac, and I hope to learn more about the project. Wieden + Kennedy was also involved.

Hopefully more in another note!

J Building from Masonry & Ceramic Tile Insitute of Oregon via SW Oregon Architect
Building 60 from University of Oregon
Lead Pencil Studios

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Ah, here's an August article from the Keizer Times:

"When architects Sam Dufaux and Michael Etzel were tasked by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) with re-envisioning Keizer Station, they came up with a scathing indictment of Keizer as it currently exists: bedroom community, not very diverse, aging, little local dynamic.

Whether or not residents agree with that assessment is beside the point because the re-envisioning is less about the specifics of the Keizer Station and more about what it means to alter the previous conceptions of the American Dream....

While no one involved in the project expects Keizer Station to be razed and rebuilt as a Eurostyle community of the future, the project is meant to be more of a conversation-starter and for designers and architects to borrow ideas for use in other places."