Downtown Portland’s Director Park is the result of a long-held city goal to connect the historic south and north park blocks. ZGF served as managing architect / urban designer, teamed with Olin as lead park designer and landscape architect, to create an urban park over a six-level underground garage. The concept of an urban hardscape stretching from building face to building face—presenting one of the first implementations of curbless street design in the City of Portland—allows the Park to engage the active street fronts of the adjoining properties. This piazza provides the canvas for a composition of structures and spaces that accommodate a variety of programmed and unprogrammed functions. A major canopy, water feature, and café provide park visitors with a range of social settings in which to enjoy urban life. From children playing in the fountain and business professionals enjoying lunch under the canopy, to yoga classes, chess games, and sporting event viewing parties that draw thousands, Director Park provides a public space unlike any other park in Portland. Sustainable design elements include granite-edged bioswales, a café green roof, and low-energy lighting. The project is innovative in its approach to stormwater management as all stormwater is filtered on-site using natural vegetation. The project received the American Architecture Award from The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, and has been featured on the cover of Landscape Architecture Magazine and in Metropolis.

PUBLICATION