Willamette Falls, located fourteen miles upstream from Portland, Oregon, is the largest waterfall in the Pacific Northwest. But the natural wonder, its banks lined by historic industrial buildings, is not open to the public. That will change now that Oregon Governor Kate Brown has announced the selection of Mayer/Reed, Snøhetta, and DIALOG as the design team for the Riverwalk, an initial phase of the Willamette Falls Legacy Project. When completed, visitors will have access to the site for the first time in more than 100 years.
A consortium of public and private partners—Oregon City, Clackamas County, Metro, the State of Oregon, and Falls Legacy LLC—selected the multi-disciplinary team from a three-team shortlist that also included James Corner Field Operations with Place Studio and Miller Hull Partnership as well as a team of Walker Macy with Thomas Balsley Associates.
The construction budget for the first phase of the Riverwalk is $10 million. The design team will receive $650,000 in public and private funding to take the proposal through schematic design, with an additional $200,000 coming from the private landowner of the former Blue Heron site and the remainder from Metro, Oregon City, Clackamas County, and the State of Oregon.
The client asked the team not to present a design, per se, but ideas that reflect an approach to materials and the “spirit of the place.” A full design will be fleshed out through a participatory process with the community led by Portland-based engagement specialist JLA Public Involvement.
By Mimi Zeiger. Originally published on The Architects Newspaper. Read full article.