Morrison Street Apartments
The site for this mixed-use residential project, at the east foot of the Morrison Bridge, is a key stepping stone in the Portland Development Commission’s view of a revitalized Central Eastside. Instigated at the height of the financial downturn by a private land owner with city agency support, this project was evaluated for its ability to represent key city and state initiatives in an effort to secure both political as well as financial support. The site’s high profile location offered the opportunity to not only demonstrate new ideas in housing and sustainable design approaches, but also the re-tasking of Oregon’s moribund manufactured home industry. A strategy was quickly adopted utilizing stressed tube units arranged like stacked cordwood, allowing light and air to permeate the entire structure. This loose fit of building massing provided a unique residential model that incorporated indoor and adjacent private outdoor space for each unit. Essentially the building became a reinterpretation of a conventional residential block, stretched apart at the fibers, while still being able to incorporate a standard conveyance and life safety armature into the highly unorthodox structure.