Morningstar at Laurelhurst Receives Design Advice (images)

Design Advice has been offered for the Morningstar at Laurelhurst, a proposed senior living facility on NE Sandy Blvd. The five story building, being designed by Ankrom Moisan Architects for Morningstar Senior Living, would include 113 units of memory care and assisted living. Approximately 70 vehicular parking spaces would be provided in a single level below-grade garage.

The project site is a 42,757 sq ft parcel at 3100 and 3150 NE Sandy Blvd. Most of the site is currently undeveloped. At the corner of NE 31st and Sandy is a 1929 building, currently occupied by the Tonic Lounge. It was announced in April that the music venue will be closing at the end of September. At the opposite corner of NE 31st and Sandy a Lexus Dealership is planned.

The building is massed as a bar shape along its nearly 400′ long frontage. The ground floor will include a number of active uses for use by the residents such as a lobby, bistro, offices, salon, and theater. Memory care units will be located at the second level, which, due to the grade differences on the site, will be level with the ground at the back of the building. Assisted living units will be located on levels 3, 4 and 5. Vehicular drop off will happen along NE Hassalo St, a short dead-end street at the back of the building.

The preliminary material palette shown includes a brick base with dark bronze storefront glazing, light colored stucco, metal panels and fiberglass windows.

The Morningstar at Laurelhurst first received Design Advice on May 2nd, 2019. Issues discussed, and described in a summary memo, included: the need for landscaping over the open vehicle ramp at the rear of the site; the need for a prominent entrance to the building from NE Sandy Blvd; the articulation of the corner of Sandy and NE 31st Ave, with the suggestion that the notch at the ground level be carried up through all five floors; and the design of the ground floor along NE Sandy Blvd.

The project is currently scheduled to return in front of the Design Commission for a second advisory meeting on July 11th.


19 thoughts on “Morningstar at Laurelhurst Receives Design Advice (images)

  1. More boxes to shove old people in. The building looks extremely DULL and DEPRESSING. What a great metaphor for senior living these talented architects have designec.

    • I agree with RH, this building is DULL. I have a loved one in assisted living that I visit frequently so this is a hot button for me. This building looks like an institution: lets hope that Architectural form does not dictate ” business function” if this gets built. Finding a place for your loved ones is an emotional decision: knowing that you might live in this box would depress most potential clients: the design of this building is not a great marketing move.

  2. Agree with all the comments above. Here’s an opportunity for the design commission to step up and show their value by protecting our city from such cookie-cutter mediocrity. Inevitably, as people grow old, they experience accumulating losses. There is no good reason that beautiful surroundings need to be among them. To the contrary, beauty probably grows MORE important for older people. This design does not honor them.

  3. Wow! What a completely underwhelming design. Come on Ankrom Moisan, this is pathetic! Brick, arches, glass, etc. Anything but more beige panels. Try again!

  4. Just when I thought the Grant Apartments on 33rd/Broadway couldn’t be beat for the top spot on the beige and boring list. This one would move into first place. Pretty soon Portland will be known as the city with the least inspiring architecture. Soviet era Russian tenement housing is just around the corner. Yay!

    • Yep, design driven by minimal cost per square foot. The Eastern Europe ‘panelak’ template, paint it beige/brown (because, Seniors…) then throw in some lighter colored rectangular motifs. Job done!

  5. Boring design yes. But would also add, 400 ft (2 city blocks!!) of no activation on one side as we get a car dealership on the other. What an absolutely terrible obstacle to connecting Hollywood and Kerns.

    It‚Äôs almost as bad as allowing a giant storage facility with blank walls in the heart of an entertainment district. Oh wait….

    • sorry, rereading and see that indeed it would include active uses at ground floor. Would much prefer some public commercial tho.

      • The issue though is that in an area like there, that ground floor, high rent space would likely sit vacant.Every building gets ground floor retail, but we don’t need so much expensive new retail space. Look at the retail space around it. A Plaid Pantry and a Fantasy.

  6. What is the attraction to the dull brown colors in Portland’s new buildings. Due to the rain and overcast weather, can’t we have building exteriors that are visually uplifting, both design and color wise. Design Review Board, take your dark glasses off and give us buildings that have some LIFE in them.

    • I totally agree. Look across I84 at the Grant Apartments on 33rd and Broadway. Boring gray and brown tones. Let’s get some reds, blues, yellows. So tired of the uninspiring colors…..

  7. Ankrom, gawd damnit! Put a little bit more effort into the design here! It looks like this was designed overnight, lacks context and character. This is the least exciting project I’ve seen in a while. Better luck next go around, but damn… I don’t have much hope.

  8. Looks like a prison, but then again Portland seems to be where old Soviet Architects and Designers are sent to die…and take the city with it

Leave a Reply