May 18, 2012
Bud Clark Commons, the now year-old building that provides affordable homes and services for our community’s most vulnerable, has won national recognition for its design.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has given the Bud Clark Commons the "Creating Community Connections" award in their 2012 Design Contest.
The unique eight-story building named for Bud Clark, Portland’s mayor from 1985 to 1992, provides a continuum of services. Our community partners Transition Projects and Home Forward provide access to healthcare, shelter, and counseling to help homeless people transition from the vulnerability of the streets to a more permanent home. It includes a walk-in day center with access to services, a temporary shelter with 90 beds for homeless men, and 130 efficient, studio apartments for very low-income individuals.
The national jury of architects, design critics, and government housing officials heaped praise on Holst Architecture, the Portland-based firm that designed the building for the Portland Housing Bureau:
"This building is more than an institution. Considering the homelessness initiative – most homeless projects seem institutionalized and one dimensional, but this is not stigmatized, it is thoughtful and brings a new way of thinking about how these facilities should be done. It is a gorgeous project. This approach should be imitated."
The promise of Bud Clark Commons is to create pathways to self-sufficiency for people without a place to call home. This is an exceptional honor for an exceptional building. In the Bud Clark Commons, the city and the design team have proven that design and function are not mutually exclusive.
Dave Otte, the lead architect on the project, will accept the award Saturday at the AIA’s national convention in Washington D.C.