This site is located in the heart of SE Portland. Within the vibrant Sunnyside neighborhood, Portland Nursery reside just at the western base of Mt. Tabor. Around October, the winds from the Columbia River basin can pick up while the Portland rain returns. It is very likely that this event will have inclement weather but often the event is held on a sunny weekend. Much of the site faces South where the plants thrive and people can enjoy the autumn sun. Glencoe Elementary is the neighbor to the south where children can often be heard. During the event, there is a lot of foot traffic in the eastern and northern half of the site. Both green houses on the eastern border hold many activities. The northern E-W path receives most traffic around the apple bin tent where guests flock to purchase many different apples.
Our team found that placing the performance space in the central area of the site near the northern E-W path and facing east, would acoustically engage the whole site. This centrality would also maximize the structure’s visibility, reinforcing the conceptual intention and therefore the event’s identity of fall-time celebration.
CONSTRUCTION: Connections, Materiality and Constructability
Seating Made from Cut-Outs
This project afforded our group a wide range of experiences and opportunities that pushed us all to become better architects and architectural engineers. The coordination of group design is never an easy process, but quite rewarding when pulled together.
The HARVEST HALL was an exploration of how mass timber can be manipulated for expressive designs that structurally make sense and architecturally provide a unique portable performance space. As this project reached advanced levels of refinement, it engaged our way of approaching design differently. The power of physical model making illustrated how the form and geometry of our designs need to stay rooted in reality, although profoundly supported digitally. In addition, the structural analysis of dead and wind loading highlighted the need for an effectively realized connection system. The smooth and hidden connection system is an aspect of our project’s architectonics that provided a thoroughly engaging conversation with classmates, professors and professionals in regards to such a resolution.
Some questions we left with are: How can the design process incorporate structural and material optimization early on so that off-cut waste is reduced and fabrication simplified? How could a nomadic structure be designed with an end-of-life aspect that considers a more permanent home or re-usability?
Overall, our team finds that this project turned out to be successful in the explorations embarked. The fruits of our labor ripened well for the final review and we can’t help but to wonder if the fruit would be even sweeter with more time to develop.
Our team would like to thank our professors Nancy Cheng and Mariapaola Riggio for their expertise, guidance, and support during this term. We would also like to thank our Graduate Teaching Fellows, Sujit Bhandari and Isaac Martinotti. We recognize that without these people and the facilities offered at UO and OSU, this incredible learning experience would not be possible. In addition, we would like to thank the guest reviewers and guest lecturers throughout the term as it is their outside and professional input that helps us refine and develop a stronger grasp of architecture and visual presentation. Thank you all!