Over the past five years, Ankrom Moison has had the opportunity to design mixed-use buildings combining retail, office, and residential components on partial or full block sites within the city of Portland. Our work on Chown Pella, McKenzie Lofts, Riverstone, and Tanner Place has played a large part in the ongoing revitalization of the Northwest Pearl and River districts. Gregory, Hoyt block 10, 10th & Jefferson full-block, Riverplace, and the Killian/Pacific superblock are allowing us further practice within this "type."
The study of European mixed-use buildings will be an asset to the design of these and future projects. European cities have long had a tradition of urban mixed-use buildings ranging from three to eight stories in height. In particular, the cities of Rotterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Vienna, and Turin show remarkable sensitivity in the design of this type of building. The examples at the right showcase several historic and contemporary examples within these cities that I believe are relevant to the work we are performing. In many cases, the contemporary buildings exist in harmony with their historic neighbors. Even when they depart from tradition, their designers have valid reasons for doing so and the results are often worthy additions to the urban fabric.
The study of this "type" will be divided into the same factors that motivate our own design of mixed-use buildings. Context, site design, facade composition, streetscape, materials, floor layout, internal circulation, section analysis, interior finishes, and detailing will all be considered. Specific emphasis will be placed on the relationship of retail spaces to the street and to the residential/office uses above. To this end, setbacks, signage, and scale will be studied. I also intend to investigate how public space is provided for and defined. Example buildings will be documented with extensive slide photography. Drawings and diagrams of plans, sections, elevations, & details will also be compiled to illustrate the architectural intentions of each design.
If accepted, I will travel for a period of at least three weeks. Rotterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Vienna, and Turin will comprise the bulk of this study, with several days spent in each city directly studying the monuments listed at left as well as others gathered in my research prior to departure. During the course of travel, I hope to incorporate stopovers at other cities within these regions as well. Amsterdam, Hilversum, Munich, and Milan are also notable for this building type and are within reach during the course of the study.
Prior to departing, I will present a projected budget of travel expenses, a detailed itinerary, as well as an outline of my collected research. Within two months of my return, the gathered information will be organized and presented at one or more Friday @ 4:30 sessions. A summary of this presentation will also be made available at this time and placed within a binder to be located with the past AMAA travel scholarship winners in the central library area.
I believe the study of European mixed-use buildings will benefit (name withheld). The investigation of materials, facade composition, and section analysis will certainly aid the design of our projects. So too, will the analysis of their immediate streetscape. In particular, the study of street level retail & public spaces will be of great use when it comes to the design of such areas in our own projects. For example, the Killian/Pacific superblock has a requirement for a certain percentage of the site footprint to be dedicated as "public plaza." This, combined with its Fred Meyer retail component, offers the chance to create a neighborhood focal point. Projects such as Holleinâs Neues Hass Haus are terrific models for such design.
European cities such as Vienna have a successful tradition of mixed-use buildings, both historic and contemporary, that help to create a rich and memorable urban fabric. The study of these buildings and their contexts will be a valuable asset to our own design process.
Vienna, Austria, 1909-11
Reviled at the time of its completion for its lack of ornamentation, this building has come to be regarded as one of Viennaâs most elegant.
Neues Haas Haus
Vienna, Austria, 1985-90
A mixed-use retail building that occupies a site very similar to the Looshaus, this project uses contemporary design and detailing while respecting the traditions of the historic fabric in which it occupies.
Rotterdam, Holland, 1925
An example from early in Oudâs career, the facade of this building was a study in proportions and modern art. It is notable in that it makes no attempt what-so-ever to blend in with its neighbors.
Brussels, Belgium, 1908
Horta was a leading proponent of the Art Nouveau movement. This was one of several department stores (w/apartments above) that he designed in and around Brussels.
Berlin, Germany, 1982-1987
This building responds to its neighbors both in plan an elevation with a layering of grids. Each grid corresponds to a neighboring building.
Berlin, Germany, 1982-1988
A modern building that is based on historical approaches, the design of this building is based on Kollhoffâs values of urban living, historical context, and quality of place.
Turin, Italy, 1984-1987
In this building Rossi combines Classical elements (base, middle, top) with Modernist planning and use of materials. Rossi tends to reduce his buildings to their bare essentials, foresaking ornament for proportion and form instead.
Lingotto Factory Mixed-use Rehabilitation
Turin, Italy, 1988-1997
Renso Piano Building Workshop
This project was a conversion. The original structure was a Fiat factory (with a test track on the roof!). The new uses include: retail, offices, a hotel, and a conference center.
Travel Scholarship VI | by Mitch Darby | 30 November 1999