The Design Commission has approved the Fourth and Montgomery Building, a seven story building in downtown designed by SRG Partnership, with landscape design by Mayer/Reed. The 174,000 sq ft office and classroom building will provide space for the PSU Graduate School of Education, the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, the PCC Dental Sciences program and clinic, and the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, as well as retail space at the ground floor. 82 long term bicycle parking spaces will be required. No vehicular parking is proposed.
The site for the building is the majority of the block bound by SW 5th Ave, Montgomery St, 4th Ave and Harrison St. The site is sometimes referred as the “Jasmine Block”, after the Jasmine Tree restaurant which was formerly located at SW 4th & Harrison. The rest of the site is currently used as surface parking. The site does not include the 1905 Harrison Court Apartments, which are individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The site is directly to the west of the under construction Collective on Fourth apartment building.
The Jasmine Block was previously envisioned as the home of the Oregon Sustainability Center, which would have included space for the businesses, nonprofits, the City of Portland, the Oregon University System and Portland State University. When the Sustainability Center was being designed in 2011 it had the goal of creating the world’s greenest office building, with net-zero levels of electricity and water usage. After failing to gain state funding in the 2012 legislative session, the Oregon Sustainability Center was officially killed by Mayor Adams in October 2012.
The building is arranged in an L-shape, which wraps around the Harrison Court apartments. A publicly accessible at-grade courtyard will be created facing SW 5th Ave, in between the new building and the existing apartment building. At the corner of SW 4th and Montgomery the building facade follows the curve in the property line, created by the turn of the streetcar line.
The primary material for the building will be aluminum composite metal panel, with white panels used to form the white column elements and dark grey panels used elsewhere. Fiberglass windows will be used at the upper floors and portions of the ground floor, with aluminum curtain walls at the retail entries. Other materials that will be used include box rib metal panel at the ground floor, concrete stem walls and columns, and stucco at the soffits where the building overhangs the ground floor.
The Fourth & Montgomery Building is the first building to be approved after the adoption of the Central City 2035 Plan, which includes a new requirement for ecoroof to cover 100% of the roof area, other than the area required for mechanical equipment.
The Fourth and Montgomery Building was approved at its first Type III Design Review hearing, held on September 6th, 2018. The project had previously gone in front of the Design Commission for two advisory Design Advice Request meetings, in February and March of 2018. The project was approved by a 6-1 vote, with Commissioners Clarke, Santner, Vallaster, Molinar, Rodriguez and Livingston voting in favor of the project, and Commissioner Savinar voting against.
In the Final Findings and Decision by the Design Commission the project was found to create an “impression of movement” which responds well to a site ringed by public transport:
The proposal enhances pedestrian connections through a recessed base, expressed entries and active uses. It creates a sense of enclosure by holding the street edges above the ground level and respects the adjacent Landmark structure by stepping back and down and creating a new, adjacent public landscaped courtyard. The unusual exterior skin treatment creates an impression of movement, appropriate for a site surrounded on all 4 sides by public transit, including the Streetcar and Max.
Building permits are currently under review for the Fourth and Montgomery Building.
I’m still kind of bummed the previous proposal wasn’t done as it included a corridor for the streetcar to cut diagonally through the block, thus eliminating that awful curve and allowing complete dual tracking. Why they insist on making the street car do this S-turn here and not just one 90 degree turn a block further to the south is beyond me, though… Still, I’m glad something is coming to fill the block. It looks like it will be an improvement for the pedestrian experience even if I don’t really care for the architecture.