Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
This single-room, pavilion-like store was designed for one of the world’s leading technology companies and located along a prominent Portland retail corridor. Replacing a preexisting department store, the new building is a reinterpretation of the favorite architectural themes developed over the past 14 years for the technology company’s extensive retail program.
A broad, glass-enclosed room makes this retail environment feel like a seamless extension of the surrounding urban environment. Spanning a city block with 240 lineal feet of 20-foot high storefront glazing, the building’s facade dematerializes the boundary between interior and exterior. The store is actively engaged in the activity of the thoroughfare, with its entry setback adding another stop along the “Portland Open Space Sequence” connecting Lawrence Halprin’s 1970 Forecourt Fountain and the Pioneer Courthouse Square with other downtown parks.
This store faced a unique challenge in that it was built above an active group of shops in the underground mall of the Pioneer Place Tower, with which it shares support space. In order to contribute to the urban streetscape while being slightly elevated from it, a series of shallow steps and a small exterior plaza with seating gently rise from street level to the store entry, providing natural gathering and resting spaces for both customers and passersby.
Delicate stainless steel columns set at the interior side of the glass storefront support the roof as it cantilevers out over the surrounding plaza. This minimal support allows for unobstructed views to the surrounding urban landscape, further blurring the line between interior and exterior. The canopy creates a place for pedestrians to gather and diffuses direct sunlight, both inside and out.
Above the occupied retail space grows a green roof system that not only acts as a fourth facade to the surrounding towers, but also contributes to the overall health of the building and well being of the city of Portland.