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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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The Ode to Roses project was less of an exercise in process than it was in vision realization. The small scale of the project, professional experience of the owner, and mutually reinforcing objectives reduced the need for formal procedure and fostered opportunities for creativity.

The project presented an opportunity for owner Kevin Cavenaugh to question the assumptions of traditional building design and to design a building and site that engages the local community. More specifically, he envisioned a building with 2nd floor cooperative office space for use by local workers during the day and a lively restaurant at the 1st floor that brings life to the street level at night. Although a ground floor restaurant with 2nd floor office space is not particularly original, Cavenaugh sought to distinguish his project by how his building would meet both programmatic and personal goals. He did not set explicit objectives for sustainability but was curious about the use of recycled materials, dematerialization, public spaces, art and other elements characteristic of green design. Furthermore, he believed that by simplifying the building, he could simultaneously reduce his costs and heighten the performance of the building. Led by his desire to utilize these strategies to achieve his vision for the site, Kevin dove headfirst into designing the project.

Keys to Success - Pre-design:
  • Question the traditional assumptions about what the building needs
  • Brainstorm creative strategies that meet multiple objectives