The Heartwood & The Seedling

Project Title: Cultural Crossing Transforms Portland Japanese Garden into a Place of Cultural and Environmental Immersion
Landscape Architect: Mithun
Category: General Design - Private Ownership
Location: Portland, OR
Portland’s popular and growing Pearl District presents two distinct styles: the historic industrial area with low rise brick warehouses in contrast to the contemporary high-rise towers. The Heartline project, as a full block development, presented a unique opportunity to relate to both characteristics of the neighborhood and create a threshold zone. The master plan responded by dividing the site into thirds: two buildings of different architectural scale and style united by a public courtyard to mediate the two styles and create an open space with a unique, Northwest character.

The design took inspiration from Portland’s timber industry, centering on the idea of a log jam. To allude to the jumble of logs in a jam, the logs are at varying elevations, serving as benches, bench backs, markers in the pavement, and unexpected follies—defining programmed spaces, stormwater infrastructure and the main walkway. The master plan concept is further expressed through the design of rooftop amenity spaces and green roofs that create variety from within, against and above.

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