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Finalists announced for Loop PDX Design Competition

PORTLAND, OR. – (18 March 2016) – The UO John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape and Design Week Portland are pleased to announce the five finalists for the Loop PDX design competition to bring to life the city’s proposed 6-mile “green loop,” a bike/pedestrian greenway linking the east and west side neighborhoods of the central city.

They are:

  1. Alta Planning in collaboration with Greenworks, Portland, Oregon
  2. SWA Group, Sausalito, California
  3. Peter Bednar, Prague, Czech Republic
  4. Untitled Studio, Portland, Oregon
  5. DHM Design, CH2M Hennebery Eddy architects, and Tad Savinar, Carbondale, Colorado and Portland, Oregon.

The finalists will compete for a $20,000 top prize to further develop the winning scheme. They will present their proposals during Design Week Portland on 6 pm, Monday, April 18 at Jimmy Mak’s Jazz Club.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $10.00.

Proposed by the Portland Planning Bureau in the Central City 2035 Plan, the loop is conceived to connect the Pearl District/Old Town, West End, Cultural District, PSU, South Auditorium, South Waterfront, OMSI, Central Eastside and Lloyd District with a single parkway that would cross the Willamette River at the Broadway Bridge and the Tilikum Crossing.

Loop PDX drew 38 proposals by leading professional firms, upstart shops, activist groups, and students from across the West, along with entries from as far away as Thailand. The competition was sponsored by the Portland Bureau of Planning, Portland Trailblazers/Rose Quarter, Key Development, Beam Development, and Joan Childs and Jerry Zaret.

The finalists offer a wide array of approaches and visions:

Portland-based Alta Planning/Greenworks proposed a series of different types of pathways, from painted tracks to bicycle couplets, all occupying existing streets and linking playgrounds and public spaces.

SWA Group from Sausalito, CA would deploy everything from boldly patterned paintings to festivals to gradually bring to life “enriched streets” of paths connecting pocket parks.

Untitled Studio from Portland proposed a strategy of “rings of ownership” of block-by- block partnerships between the city and private property owners, periodically marked by train-trestle arbors.

Peter Bednar of Prague offered a kit of parts of street furniture, moveable planters, painted walls, and other easily made moves that could incrementally lead to more permanent features like lighting and tree-lined, center-lane parkway.

DHM Design, CH2m, Hennebery Eddy architects, and Tad Savinar envisioned a bold forested greenway that could eventually become a “Park Blocks” for the Central Eastside but could also begin with designated corridors of plantings and green walls.

Loop PDX Design Jury:

  • Paula Scher, designer, Pentagram, New York
  • Gina Ford, director of urban studio, Sasaki, San Francisco
  • Michelle Delk, director of landscape, Snohetta, New York
  • Mike Lydon, Street Plans Collective and co-author of Tactical Urbanism, New York
  • Andrew Howard, cofounder of Better Block and principle with Team Better Block

Loop PDX technical advisory committee:

  • Susan Anderson, director Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
  • Leah Treat, director Bureau of Transportation
  • Mike Abbate, director Parks & Recreation
  • Wim Wiewel, President, Portland State University
  • Tom Kelly, Portland Development Commission member
  • Brad Malsin, president, Central Eastside Industrial Council
  • Wade Lang, American Assets Trust
  • Sarah Heinecke, director of Lloyd Ecodistrict
  • Brian Ferriso, Portland Art Museum
  • Jonathan Nicholas, Moda
  • Brian Ferriso, Portland Art Museum

The UO John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape is devoted to inspiring future acts of visionary design and conservation. A program of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts at the University of Oregon, the Center presents major public programs on design and conservation and more intimate events at two properties designed by John Yeon: the Watzek House, a 1937 modernist masterpiece and Portland’s only National Historic Landmark residence; and The Shire, a unique, 75-acre work of landscape design in the Columbia River Gorge.

Media Contact:
Sabina Poole, UO AAA Communications, 503-412-3729,

Randy Gragg, executive director, John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape,