After visiting the new Vancouver library, we went over to Fort Vancouver, which has the most beautiful vegetable garden and some great examples of plank construction.
Conveniently located next door is the Vancouver Land Bridge, which connects pedestrian facilities on two sides of a busy highway. The bridge was designed by Johnpaul Jones as part of the Confluence Project, a series of new places designed to commemorate the tribes who used to gather here at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. The project is overseen by Maya Lin, who I would imagine has at least some influence in the design. The relationship between the two architects for the design of this project is a little confusing to me, so if someone can clear that up, I’d appreciate it. I must say that this project definitely feels more Johnpaul Jones than it does Maya Lin.
The most striking images that I’ve seen of this project are aerial photos. In plan, it’s absolutely beautiful. To be perfectly honest, though, while walking through it we didn’t get quite the sense of “completing the circle,” which seemed so obvious in plan. The trail itself wiggles back and forth while following the primary curve; the smaller wiggles seem to distort the larger curve.
Another striking thing about the bridge is the juxtaposition of the soft form of the land bridge with the hard forms of the highway and the Fort. I thought this was particularly apropos given the history of all three: The Fort was a destination for fur traders with the Hudson’s Bay Company. The highway is another artifact of westward expansion, a new iteration of the Oregon Trail. Westward expansion had an obvious and disastrous impact on native populations, commemorated by the bridge.

After visiting the new Vancouver library, we went over to Fort Vancouver, which has the most beautiful vegetable garden and some great examples of plank construction.

Conveniently located next door is the Vancouver Land Bridge, which connects pedestrian facilities on two sides of a busy highway. The bridge was designed by Johnpaul Jones as part of the Confluence Project, a series of new places designed to commemorate the tribes who used to gather here at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. The project is overseen by Maya Lin, who I would imagine has at least some influence in the design. The relationship between the two architects for the design of this project is a little confusing to me, so if someone can clear that up, I’d appreciate it. I must say that this project definitely feels more Johnpaul Jones than it does Maya Lin.

The most striking images that I’ve seen of this project are aerial photos. In plan, it’s absolutely beautiful. To be perfectly honest, though, while walking through it we didn’t get quite the sense of “completing the circle,” which seemed so obvious in plan. The trail itself wiggles back and forth while following the primary curve; the smaller wiggles seem to distort the larger curve.

Another striking thing about the bridge is the juxtaposition of the soft form of the land bridge with the hard forms of the highway and the Fort. I thought this was particularly apropos given the history of all three: The Fort was a destination for fur traders with the Hudson’s Bay Company. The highway is another artifact of westward expansion, a new iteration of the Oregon Trail. Westward expansion had an obvious and disastrous impact on native populations, commemorated by the bridge.

The Children’s Floor of the new Vancouver Library contains a huge early learning play-space designed by a Portland company called the Burgeon Group that is “the only firm dedicated to interactive learning spaces in public libraries.” In fact, the company refuses to design exhibits for anyone but public libraries because they value libraries so much. I think their company and mission is so fascinating, and I just loved the play space.
The kids loved it too. So much screaming and running around. The space features these giant resin (?) tipis surrounded by lots of doodads to twist and turn and poke and pull. Each toy is a different learning experience. Some of the exhibits made no sense to me but seemed to make perfect sense to the kids—just more evidence that the space was designed for kids, not adults.

The Children’s Floor of the new Vancouver Library contains a huge early learning play-space designed by a Portland company called the Burgeon Group that is “the only firm dedicated to interactive learning spaces in public libraries.” In fact, the company refuses to design exhibits for anyone but public libraries because they value libraries so much. I think their company and mission is so fascinating, and I just loved the play space.

The kids loved it too. So much screaming and running around. The space features these giant resin (?) tipis surrounded by lots of doodads to twist and turn and poke and pull. Each toy is a different learning experience. Some of the exhibits made no sense to me but seemed to make perfect sense to the kids—just more evidence that the space was designed for kids, not adults.

Yesterday, a friend and I went to Vancouver, WA (just on the other  side of the border from Portland, OR) for a little architectural field  trip. Our first stop was the new Vancouver Regional Library, designed by  Miller Hull, which opened just a week or so ago.
The library was really beautiful, and here are some first impressions:
1. Beautiful
2. Noisy! You can hear the kids floor from pretty much everywhere in the building. Kids love to scream. None of the patrons seemed particularly bothered, though, and I found the noise kind of soothing.
3. South-glazing out the wazoo. I’m guessing the trees to the south are some sort of extra-terrestrial species that grows to five floors within 6 months.

Yesterday, a friend and I went to Vancouver, WA (just on the other side of the border from Portland, OR) for a little architectural field trip. Our first stop was the new Vancouver Regional Library, designed by Miller Hull, which opened just a week or so ago.

The library was really beautiful, and here are some first impressions:

1. Beautiful

2. Noisy! You can hear the kids floor from pretty much everywhere in the building. Kids love to scream. None of the patrons seemed particularly bothered, though, and I found the noise kind of soothing.

3. South-glazing out the wazoo. I’m guessing the trees to the south are some sort of extra-terrestrial species that grows to five floors within 6 months.

The Future

I was using this Tumblr before to keep track of precedents for my terminal studio at the University of Oregon architecture school. I finished that project and graduated in June. Here’s the “key image” to pique your interest:

Velodrome at Portland Bikes

Piqued? Then go to http://www.krystanmenne.com for some more. I bet you’ll see some influence from the precedents in the final project.

From now on, I’ll be using this blog for a different purpose: keeping track of interesting buildings I visit and my first impression of them. I hope you stick around!

More of the same!

More of the same!