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Carl Sandburg’s Chicago

SW Oregon Architect

The poet Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) loved and defended Chicago, his adopted home. Sandburg described his poem Chicago as a chant of defiance, a praise of agriculture, industry, and the railroads for which Chicago was an important hub, during a time when the city was the nation’s industrial capital.

Chicago, That Toddlin’ Town

SW Oregon Architect

Spectacular aerial view of Chicago by Jake Davis @inairshare_designer. Jake is a principal and Public Safety Design Leader with DLR Group. The annual AIA Conference on Architecture takes place this coming week in Chicago, and I will be there. I have never been to Chicago before.

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Market Day

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Inside the Lane County Farmers Market Pavilion, opening day June 4, 2022 (all photos are mine).

The Downtown Riverfront Park is Open!

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View looking west from the river overlook at the east terminus of 5th Avenue (all photos are by me). The City of Eugene celebrated the grand opening of the new Downtown Riverfront Park this weekend.

Innocence Lost

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(Photo credit: VOA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons) The terrifying familiarity this past week of yet another mass shooting at a school—this time at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24—shocked the nation.

Eugene/Architecture/Alphabet: I

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Ida H. and Frank L. Chambers House (my photo) This is the next in my Eugene/Architecture/Alphabet series of blog posts, the focus of each being a landmark building here in Eugene. Many of these will be familiar to most who live here but there are likely to be a few buildings that are less so.

Corvallis Museum In-Person Tour

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After two years absent of the opportunity to visit noteworthy local building projects, AIA Oregon and/or the Willamette Valley Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute have offered several tours this year in rapid succession.

Special Parts

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Saloon windows, Fonthill Castle; design by Henry Chapman Mercer (photo from the Mercer Museum & Fonthill Castle website ). Fonthill has over two hundred windows of varying sizes.

An Unfolding Cultural Catastrophe

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Damage to buildings in Chernigiv, Ukraine (photo by Mvs.gov.ua, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons) Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is the largest military attack in Europe since World War II.

Active Design

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The Shipyards, North Vancouver's mixed-use waterfront neighborhood (my photo). I just returned to Eugene following an extended visit to Vancouver, B.C.

Design 166

Stay ON the Grass

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Stay ON the Grass prototype installation, August 2021 The 2020 outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic struck suddenly, disrupting the routine and normalcy of everyday life.

Farmers Market Pavilion and Plaza Tour

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Interior of the Farmers Market Pavilion (all photos by me). Another week, another well-attended tour of a noteworthy project in Eugene.

The World’s Finest Theater for Track & Field

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I joined a group of fellow AIA Oregon members last week for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of the “renovated” Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus. It was my first opportunity to see it from within.

The Worrying Absence of Housing Choice

SW Oregon Architect

I worry about a lot of things. Unfortunately, there is little I can do about many of them. For example, there is not much I can contribute toward ending the war in Ukraine, not to mention all the other regional conflicts around the world.

Zoning 167

Stepping in It

SW Oregon Architect

As I suspect many other homeowners residing in one of Eugene’s R-1 low-density neighborhoods did, my wife and I received a mailer from Housing-Facts.org this past week beseeching us to learn more about the City of Eugene’s pending Middle Housing code amendments.

IT 178

College Hill 607

SW Oregon Architect

College Hill 607 reservoir, Lincoln Street side (my photo) A guest column in The Register-Guard this past week by local writer Bob Warren reminded me of the imminent decommissioning and replacement of EWEB’s water storage tank atop College Hill in Eugene.

2022 Projects in the Pipeline

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If the 2022 Projects in the Pipeline program was any indication, the breadth and volume of projects we can look forward to seeing take shape in here in Lane County over the next few years is impressive.

The New North Eugene High School

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North Eugene High School site tour - February 23, 2022 (all photos by me) Like other member-driven industry organizations, the Willamette Valley Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute is shaking off the enervating effects of social distancing measures that helped keep the COVID-19 pandemic in check.

2022 Reverse Crit

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This past Thursday evening, representatives from three AIA Oregon firms presented projects currently in design for scrutiny by University of Oregon architecture students in the 2022 Reverse Crit.

Influences: Louis I. Kahn

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The Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA (photo by Codera23, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons) An earlier blog entry of mine, “ Genealogy of Influence ,” promised a series of posts about the architects and theorists who influenced my architectural world view. This is the latest post in the series.

Thinking Architecture

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Benedict Chapel, Sumvitg, Graubünden, Switzerland, designed by Peter Zumthor (photo by p2cl, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons) Like 2020 before it, 2021 was hardly a banner year.

Architecture is Awesome #24: The Act of Building

SW Oregon Architect

This is another in my series of posts inspired by 1000 Awesome Things , the Webby Award winning blog written by Neil Pasricha. The series is my meditation on the awesome reasons why I was and continue to be attracted to the art of architecture.

The Reach Code Bill (SB 1518)

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Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash If I hadn’t checked my email’s spam folder, I would have missed a notice from the New Buildings Institute informing readers of the Oregon State Legislature’s consideration of the Reach Code Bill (SB 1518).

The Farmers Market Pavilion and Plaza

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Farmers Market Pavilion - view from 8th looking north (this and other renderings by FFA Architecture + Interiors) Just a brief blog entry this week, as seasonal obligations and work demands compete for my limited time: I recently stumbled across the renderings for the new Lane County Farmers Market pavilion by FFA Architecture + Interiors.

Tempus Fugit

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Photo by Matt Barrett on Unsplash The flight of time never seems as fast as when we prepare to turn the calendar at each year’s end. Despite passing in what seems a blink of an eye, 2021 bore more than its fair share of virus angst, fear, division, fire, and flooding.

Coming Fast: A Driver of Industry Change

SW Oregon Architect

Unfailingly, I’m drawn to news articles and/or essays about technological advancements within the architecture profession. I recently happened to read two especially thought-provoking pieces online about the future of BIM (Building Information Modeling).

I’m a Jack of All Trades and a Master of None

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Tools of the trade from a simpler time. One of the reasons I enjoy being an architect is because what I do is so multifaceted. Every project presents unique challenges rooted in specific circumstances.

The College Football Facilities Arms Race

SW Oregon Architect

The future University of Oregon Indoor Practice Facility (all renderings from the UO press release ) It’s Saturday, October 23, 2021, and as I write this sentence it is less than an hour before the kickoff of the game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA between the football teams of my two alma maters, the Oregon Ducks and UCLA Bruins.

Eugene/Architecture/Alphabet: H

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The Hult Center for the Performing Arts (photo by Cacophony via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.5, [link] ) This is the next in my Eugene/Architecture/Alphabet series of blog posts, the focus of each being a landmark building here in Eugene.

Architecture is Awesome #23: Walls

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“Architecture appears for the first time when the sunlight hits a wall. The sunlight did not know what it was before it hit a wall.” Louis Kahn.

Nostalgia

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The Glenwood Restaurant (Google Street View screen capture) Our sentimentality for the past, particularly for times with happy personal associations, tends to increase as we grow older.

Appropriate Organizational Structure

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Of all the principles of architectural design Bill Kleinsasser expounded upon throughout each iteration of his self-published textbook SYNTHESIS , the notion of organizational structure was perhaps his most impactful design tenet.

Architecture w/Stewart

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YouTube’s algorithm is unnervingly effective at suggesting which videos I am most likely to find interesting. My viewing history and preferences include a healthy dose of architectural content, so it isn’t surprising when YouTube occasionally introduces me to new channels devoted to architecture.

2021 AIA Eugene People’s Choice Awards

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Coburg Remodel by Arbor South Architecture, one of this year's People's Choice Awards entries. Each year, AIA Eugene, in collaboration with the Willamette Valley Section of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), sponsors the People’s Choice Awards for Architecture.

Streateries & Food Cart Pods

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Claim 52 has extra outdoor seating thanks to the City of Eugene's streatery program (photo from the City of Eugene's Streatery Program web page ) The recent, unfortunate upsurge in COVID-19 cases here in Lane County once again threatens the viability of the local food services industry.

Contextual Character

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Entrance to the Batu Caves, Malaysia (photo by Lloyd Alozie on Unsplash ) I’ve previously mentioned how Bill Kleinsasser constantly revised his self-published textbook SYNTHESIS , which served as the foundation for his introductory course on architecture at the University of Oregon.

2021 People’s Choice Award Winners

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Blood, Sweat, and Tears: The Birch Fircrest House

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The Birch Fircrest House I had the good fortune this weekend to enjoy a tour of a remarkable work of architecture currently under construction: the Birch Fircrest House designed by Speranza Architecture + Urban Design.

Challenging Our Biases

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Twitter’s signal-to-noise ratio isn’t encouraging—there’s far too much trolling and misinformation, too much impulsivity, and not enough use of the platform for good. That said, its benefits for social organization, tracking areas of interest, and authentic engagement are real.

2022 CSI Certification Classes

SW Oregon Architect

For the 40th consecutive year, the Construction Specifications Institute–Willamette Valley Chapter (CSI-WVC) is pleased to offer a series of classes on Construction Contract Documents in addition to another set covering Construction Contract Administration.