This new construction of a 4 story mixed-use building with apartments, live-work, and retail is located at the heart of a steadily growing neighborhood in North Portland. Unlike many recent housing developments in the city, it provides off-street parking and alley access for its future tenants. The massing of the building will be constructed right up to the lot line all sides, so allowing for daylight wells was key for carving out units at the center of the floor plan.
With an approximately 100’x100’ site and no property lines perpendicular to one another, the building will be designed square. As a mid-block site, there are two sides of building to be directly on property lines, which creates relatively solid shear wall opportunities. In the future, it is very likely that new development will sandwich the building on both sides at much taller heights than currently populate this portion of North Lombard. With so little contextual fabric to design to, this new structure will stand out amongst its neighbors as a beacon for urban and contemporary architecture.
With a site currently devoid of architecturally significant buildings, FFA looked to historic Lombard Street and the surrounding neighborhood for influence. Drawing on the lumber mills that once proliferated the industrial area, FFA conducted a number of studies to investigate how stacked lumber could influence a housing project.
Historic North Portland was home to a number of shipyards, which became integral to the United State’s maritime construction operation during World War II. Nearby Swan Island was home to a number of drydocks, some of which were made out of local Douglas Fir timbers. On these drydocks, there were more than 2,700 Liberty Ships constructed for the US military, and scores of British merchant vessels. FFA studied the forms of these historic structures and their potential influence on building design.