image credit OLIN
Visiting Portland, Oregon, I was able to get a view of the nearly completed OLIN design for the south park block 5 in Portland, Oregon.
From the OLIN website:
With the redevelopment of an entire city block - a former parking lot - a significant urban plaza, built entirely over structure, will be introduced into the heart of Portland this fall. OLIN’s design creates new open spaces with a range of microclimates, amenities, and places for activity that will become a unique destination and landmark for residents and visitors. A key feature of Director Park will be an open, glass and wood canopy, accessible from the adjacent sidewalk and sitting high along the street’s edge, offering views over the plaza. The canopy will incorporate innovative stormwater techniques to capture and reuse runoff on-site to support the irrigation of plants during the dry months.
The design allows light into the park but provides shelter in the rainy Northwest.
The canopy - 25 ft tall, 40 ft wide, and 150 ft long - will drain its stormwater into raised planters, mostly by means of gutters concealed in the columns but also by "rain chains," which will make the storm drainage visible in a playful way.
The rain is harvested by flowing down the shed canopy into a stainless steel gutter. The rainwater flows from the gutter down cables and into a planter that provides a seating edge to the park.
Overflow from the planter flows out of the spouts shown above.
Some attractive new urbanist strategies are implemented which benefit the experience of the pedestrians and make the vehicular traffic secondary. No curbs exist, but ground texture mark spaces along with bollards and trees. The planters also take on stormwater. Street parking is only on the business side of the park street.
Granite stretches from one end of the block at the base of the Fox Tower to the base of the buildings to the west.