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Projects We Like: Tree Farm in Portland

A new development in Portland, Oregon is taking building green to a unique level. Guerrilla Development’s “Tree Farm” project includes 54 steel tree planters embedded into the sides of a six-story, 41,000 sq.ft. office building. Brett Schulz Architect designed project on Southeast Third Avenue, near the westbound side of the Morrison Bridge.

The project is located in the Central Eastside adjacent to the eastern approach of the Morrison Bridge. (Josh Kulla/DJC)

Development has surged in the city’s Central Eastside Industrial District with a number of office and retail projects. Zoning limits residential uses in the area. The Tree Farm project is targeting “creative office users.”

From DJC Oregon:

Designers worked with WDY Inc. to create what architect Ben Carr called an “exoskeleton of tube steel” to bear the weight of the planters, which each weigh over a metric ton. This exoskeleton, however, is designed so it bears only the planters’ weight and not the weight of the surrounding building. Those plates then support the steel planters in their entirety.

The remainder of the building is being constructed with a standard slab-on-grade foundation supporting six stories of wood framing. The building is designed as a cube, providing visual symmetry from both near and far.

Kevin Cavenaugh’s Guerrilla Development is known for unusual infill projects (see this Buffalo Rising post). From PDX Monthly:

To eastside drivers crossing the Morrison Bridge into downtown, the adjacent Tree Farm building will look “like a big-ass Chia Pet,” says Cavenaugh, who receives frequent tirades about the vibrant rose-and-geode-painted Fair-Haired Dumbbell, which his company Guerrilla Development installed last year at the Burnside Bridge’s east end. “Our city’s too safe. Let’s give it some controversial design work.”

The potted strawberry trees are combined with a flowery exterior hand-painted by design consultant Jeanne Mare Werle. A drip irrigation system is integrated into the walls and the steel planters will be removable to allow for maintenance.. The exterior looks like a 3-D mural. Picture a project like this on Chandler Street.

Photos from DJC Oregon and Brett Schulz Architects

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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