Oregon Pacific Bank Featured in Oregon Business

OPB Staff.jpg

Article in Oregon Business

Branching Out

By Jay Shenai
Oregon Business
October 8, 2018

Oregon Pacific Bank breaks ground for a new way of banking.

A new branch for Oregon Pacific Bank is opening in Eugene just in time for the holidays. The opening of the 59 E. 11th Street location, targeted for early December, sends a signal of the bank’s commitment to partner with the community and its local businesses.

Until then, please pardon the construction.

According to Ellen Huntingdon, Marketing Coordinator for the Florence-based bank, work in the new building began in earnest this past summer. Walls and carpets were torn out for a complete interior redesign in late August.

“The building interior is going through a fairly extensive and much-needed face-lift.” Huntingdon said.

Local firms McKenzie Commercial Contractors, Inc. and Rowell Brokaw Architects were brought in to do the job, which involved removal of office doors, adding of storefront windows, and new everything: new carpet, new floor tiles, new teller rows, new conference rooms, and a new kitchen.

“What we want to do is really lighten up the space, both for our clients and for staff working there,” she said.

When it opens its doors, the flagship branch will have a drive-through teller window and a deposit-taking ATM, as well as a night-drop deposit box. The branch will be well equipped to offer comprehensive banking services, but will focus on its core strategies of providing business banking solutions, trust services and wealth management.

“We will be able to cater to the entirety of the financial life cycle, whether community members are looking to retire, looking to open a business, or are somewhere in between,” Huntingdon said.

The new branch building is part of a response to recent industry mergers and acquisitions that left the Eugene and Springfield markets without two of its locally based banking institutions, according to Ron Green, Bank President and CEO.

In early 2015, the Florence-based Siuslaw Financial Group and Bank was purchased by Banner Corporation to merge with Banner Bank. And in November of 2017, a deal to purchase Pacific Continental Bank was finalized by Columbia Bank.
“The mergers left a void in the Eugene-Springfield area, and created a niche for the services of an additional community bank,” Green said. “One with decisions made in the local area, one inherently invested in the success of the community.”

“Because we’re [headquartered] in the Lane County area, the local economic and social infrastructure must be strong for us to succeed,” Green said.

“We’re committed to the success of the communities we serve, all in,” he said.

A thirty-nine year old bank, it opened its Eugene branch in 2015 as a trust and loan production office on the 6th floor of the Citizen’s Building on Oak Street, and expanded in 2016 into full-service banking. The recent mergers created opportunity that the bank wanted to seize upon. Additional capital was raised in 2017, which led to the hiring of more than a dozen local banking professionals from one of the institutions that merged with an out-of-state company. The expansion far outpaced the capacity of the original office space.

“The need for additional space presented us the opportunity to pursue a location that had improved visibility and easy access for our clients,” Huntingdon said. “It was the perfect time to reach out and make that next step to grow into our own building.”

One of the exciting opportunities a larger presence in the Eugene area presents is the ability to offer a greater amount of support to local area nonprofit organizations. Since its founding in 1979, Oregon Pacific Bank has been a strong partner and resource for community organizations, from flexible lending structures and monetary donations, to utilizing their workforce for volunteer activities.

“We have an active culture of caring at Oregon Pacific Bank, in that we encourage our employees to participate and volunteer within the communities we serve,” said Huntingdon. “As part of our benefits package, we offer our employees one hour a week to volunteer during their paid work schedule and in addition to that many of our employees also serve on local nonprofit boards and committees.”

This mission of caring for the community aligns well with the bank’s day-to-day business, one that Oregon Pacific Bank hopes will have a direct impact on the economic strength of Eugene area business owners.

“The deposits that we collect in the Eugene market we turn around and invest right back into the businesses in the Eugene area,” Huntingdon said.

It’s part of what makes Oregon Pacific Bank unique, according to Huntingdon. “Our mission is to work together with our partners to make their future better,” she said.

“We will do that in a way that’s anything but ordinary.”

When completed, the branch will also be one of the only banks in the area to also offer in-house wealth management that includes estate planning and the ability to settle estates after the passing of a loved one.

“That’s a tremendous value, many don’t often realize,” Green said. “We’re very proud of the ability to take care of our local families in a time that they are in true need of unbiased and objective financial assistance.”

In the meantime, the bank will continue to prepare for the opening of their new Eugene branch, currently planned for early December, according to Green.

“Be on the lookout for several HGTV-inspired Web videos sharing the progress of the new office,” Huntingdon said, “in addition to some editions of the bank’s video series, #AskTheBanker, shot on location.”

Anticipate an open house event and a ribbon cutting, as well as other community events yet to be determined, according to Green.

“We welcome the Eugene community to come and visit once our new branch is open,” Green says, “and prepare for a different kind of banking experience!”

Welcome Serena Lim!

Serena Lim recently joined Rowell Brokaw as a designer after earning her M.Arch at the University of Oregon. She has always loved drawing and crafting and brings strong creative skills to the firm. After earning a B.A. in Liberal/Visual Arts from the Evergreen State College in 2008, she worked as a freelance graphic designer, textile restoration specialist, and co-founded and directed Oxtail Studio & Gallery in Berkeley, CA. She also worked as a junior designer at Goring & Straja Architects before returning to school to study architecture.

Serena was drawn to the University of Oregon’s Architecture program for its emphasis on sustainability. She brings an acute awareness of architecture’s social and environmental impacts. While completing her M.Arch, she worked as a Graduate Research Fellow and lab assistant in the UO Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory and as a design assistant for FLOAT Architectural Research and Design in Eugene. Serena's love of the outdoors and interdisciplinary background in the humanities support her passion for sustainable, equitable design.

In her spare time, Serena enjoys sketching, painting, sewing, printmaking, hiking, camping, and meals with friends. She has been studying Polynesian dance since she was 8 years old and enjoys travel.

Mark Young's illustrations and Nicola Fucigna's article on Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities featured in Construction Literary Magazine

Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities has captured the imagination of many architects, including RB’s Mark Young and Nicola Fucigna. When Mark was studying abroad in Copenhagen as an undergrad, he illustrated all 55 cities. A collection of these illustrations are featured in Construction, a quarterly online literary magazine, where Nicola runs an architecture column on the poetics of real and imagined spaces. For the Fall 2018 issue, Nicola contributed an essay illustrated by Mark: "Lessons for Architects in Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities."  

Lorri Nelson receives a Head Start Award

During Head Start of Lane County’s All Staff Event, Lorri Nelson was recognized as one of a handful of “community members who have given, supported, and are champions of Head Start.” Lorri is honored to receive this award. She has loved working with the Head Start staff to integrate natural play areas into various school sites.

Rowell Brokaw shares the values of Head Start and is proud of its history working with this important non-profit. The Head Start program offers a holistic approach to early childhood development, providing educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to low-income families. For more on the history of this program and its relationship to architecture, see this Head Start Presentation that John Rowell co-authored in 2002.

UO Robinson Theater Rigging Project

The UO Robinson Theater Rigging Replacement project has been successfully completed. All of the obsolete, existing equipment was replaced with contemporary stage rigging equipment. This rigging includes rope lines, blocks (pulleys), and counterweights that allow a stage crew to “fly” or hoist objects—such as lights, curtains, and scenery—out of view of the stage. Rowell Brokaw worked with PLA Theatrical Consultants, Systems West Engineers as electrical consultants, the Ausland Group as general contractor, Stagecraft Industries as the rigging subcontractor, and JKG Electric as subcontractors to complete the project.

Spotlight on Eureka Veterans and Homeless Housing in Lost Coast Outpost

Article in the Local Coast Outpost

Eureka Committee Approves Design for New Three-Story, 50,000 Square-Foot Low-Income Housing Complex on Fourth Street

By Stephanie McGeary
Local Coast Outpost
September 12, 2018

View from 4th and B Streets.

Today the Eureka Design Review Committee approved plans for development of an apartment complex on the corner of Fourth Street between B and C Streets in Eureka, intended to house veterans and people at risk of homelessness.

“We’re just trying to help the community, help the people on the streets and give them a leg up,” Development company Danco CommunitiesPresident Chris Dart told the Outpost.

The approximately 50,000 square foot, three story building will contain 50 one-bedroom apartments. Half of the units will be designated for veterans and the other half will be for the general population, Dart told the Outpost. But all tenants need to be homeless or at risk of homelessness, he said.

Map of the project location.

The project is not only intend to provide both temporary and long-term housing for those in need, but also will include social services provided by the Veteran’s Resource Center and Humboldt County Health and Human Services. Services will include food, post-traumatic stress syndrome recovery counseling, life-skills coaching, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and more.

The building includes some other impressive features, such as a large communal kitchen, a rooftop garden, a courtyard garden with an internal bike storage and solar panels. According to the staff report, the building is designed to be “net-zero,” meaning that it produces as much energy as it consumes.

View of the courtyard looking east.

Eureka Development Services Director Rob Holmlund said the city is excited about this project, which he sees as not only providing a much needed service, but will be an aesthetic improvement on the area as well.

“It’s a really well-designed building,” Holmlund told the Outpost. “It will be an amazing new prominent structure.”

With the approval of the Design Review Committee in hand, Holmlund said, all the developers really have left to do is apply for the building permits.

Dart is excited to complete this project, which has been in the works since 2015. He said the developers expect to break ground by January 2019 and is estimating the construction to take about 12 months.

View of entry from 4th Street.

1203 Willamette Open House Celebration

Rowell Brokaw, deChase Miksis, Trifoia, Watkinson Laird Rubenstein Attorneys, & Claim 52 held an open house at 1203 Willamette. The event was catered by Saucefly. The whole building was opened up for visitors to explore all the offices in the newly remodeled building. It was fascinating to see the various ways that each office has developed its workspace in the exposed timber structure.

It has been quite a journey from a vacant, rundown building to a vibrant space. For RB, the open house was a cathartic event, full of great food and conversations. Thank you to all who came!

"Topping Out" Ceremony for Tykeson Hall


Tykeson Hall’s “topping out” was celebrated this Friday. Willie Tykeson, Dean Marcus, other key donors and UO members, and the construction workers on the building signed the final steel beam that was then, via a crane, lifted into place. The ceremony commemorates the completion of the last major piece of structure for the project. Now the construction team—Fortis Construction and its many subcontractors—with support of the design team will turn to the cladding of the building, followed by installation of the interior finishes. Tykeson is slated to open in Fall 2019.  

Full Steam Ahead: Steam Plant Redevelopment Featured in Register-Guard

Andy Nelson/Register-Guard

Article in the Register-Guard

Eugene selects deChase Miksis Development team to renovate downtown steam plant

By Elon Glucklich
The Register-Guard
August 28, 2018

Eugene officials are putting their faith in a group of prominent local developers, architects and business executives to transform the former Eugene Water & Electric Board steam plant.

The city announced Tuesday that it had picked a team led by Mark Miksis of deChase Miksis Development and Arcimoto CEO Mark Frohnmayer to submit a formal proposal for the 87-year-old steam plant’s redevelopment. City officials chose the team over two other groups that expressed interest earlier this year.

The Miksis group outlined plans in June to turn the long-vacant, 50-foot-tall steam plant into a vibrant retail, restaurant and office building with amenities such as a ground-floor tap room, business and classroom space, and a rooftop deck with prime Willamette River views.

Now the group has been asked to submit a detailed plan for the renovation, which it estimates costing between $18 million and $25 million. The group and the city hope to finish the project in time for the 2021 World Track & Field Championships, along with a wider transformation of the former EWEB operations yard by Portland-based Williams/Dame & Associates.

“The people we have on this team have been working on this project a long time, so we’re not coming in cold,” Miksis said. “This team goes back to 2015, when we were looking at a possible plan for the steam plant. We do have a lot of good ideas and a fair understanding of the challenges in the building, and we’re definitely excited for having the opportunity.”

Miksis’ development team also includes deChase Miksis Development partner Dean Papé, Rowell Brokaw Architects executives John Rowell and Greg Brokaw, Falling Sky Brewing owner Rob Cohen, Arcimoto Vice President Jesse Fittipaldi, retired architect and historic preservation specialist Don Peting, and Technology Association of Oregon Vice President Matt Sayre, as well as Jason Thompson, principal with Portland-based Catena Consulting Engineers.

Miksis has helped spearhead several large projects in Eugene, including Crescent Village’s commercial core in the northeast part of the city, the Northwest Community Credit Union building across East Sixth Avenue from the steam plant and the recent major remodel of a former retail building on Willamette Street into a dining, retail and office building.

His group’s submission to the city included statements of creditworthiness from two financial institutions. Miksis said his group is now looking into the feasibility and cost of various plans for the steam plant, which EWEB decommissioned in 2012 after building it in 1931 to house steam boilers and turbines.

The building is in poor condition, with broken windows, peeling paint and a laundry list of overdue upkeep.

“There’s a lot of due diligence yet to occur on this,” Miksis said, “but I think the city felt we had the best grasp of the opportunities and limitations of this project and the best ability to execute on the project by 2021.”

The city plans to hold community forums in the fall to get input on the project, Eugene business development analyst Amanda D’Souza said. There’s no formal timeline for the development, but the city hopes to have a clearer sense of the possibilities for the steam plant by the end of the year, she said.

We’re going to move as quickly as we can, but we also don’t fully understand the picture of what we’re walking into yet,” D’Souza said. “We’re starting that deep dive into the status of the building and figuring out exactly what they’re proposing.”

2018 Summer Intern Julia Chou

This summer Julia Chou joined us for an internship. Julia grew up in Eugene and as part of her senior project in high school she completed her job shadow at Rowell Brokaw’s old office. She is now entering her second year in the architecture department at Syracuse University.

Julia worked on several projects in the office: renderings of 1235 Willamette, a Revit model of the Steam Plant (formerly owned by EWEB), and signage for Rowell Brokaw’s office. She worked closely with John Rowell and Patrick Hannah.

She had several takeaways from her experience. “I liked learning about how people within a firm interact. In the new office, it is so easy to go talk to each other. You can jump between projects quickly. I also like how you work collectively—it’s never a one-man job. In school, it’s very competitive, whereas here it’s very collective and helpful.”

She enjoyed watching how different people work: “There are so many ways to do one thing. People choose Revit, CAD—John likes to do things in Photoshop, Frank in Lumion. People have their own personal style and preference that they can express.”

She was also struck by the “large amount of time it takes to complete a project. At school, we have three-to-six weeks per project. Here you have years changing and changing and changing things. There’s so much thought that goes into a project, more than you’d imagine.”

We really appreciate Julia’s contributions to the firm this summer and wish her well in her pursuit to one day start her own firm and become a professor.

Soil Samples Arrive at the OSU Marine and Geology Repository

Project Manager Tricia Berg and Project Architect Austin Bailey met with Principal Investigators Anthony Koppers and Joseph Stoner at Oregon State University’s new Marine and Geology Repository. The researchers are cataloguing and organizing the recently arrived Antarctic Core Collection in the new facility. These priceless sediment cores tell the history of many of the earth’s systems. The cores will be invaluable in studying climate change and ice sheet retreat for they chronicle past responses in Antarctica to times warmer than the present.

Tykeson Hall's Crane Featured in the Daily Emerald

(Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

Article in the Daily Emerald

Meet UO’s campus crane operator

By Zach Prince
The Daily Emerald
July 30, 2018

Perched far above the claustrophobic PLC offices, looming over the infamous steps of Johnson Hall, sits a 172 EC-B Liebherr tower crane. Standing at more than 200 feet in the air, the view from the crane’s cab might be one of the best in town. On a clear day, one can see everything from Eugene’s east hills and Hendricks Park to the city’s tallest building, the Ya-Po-Ah Terrace.

Sitting atop the swaying beast is Ray McArthur, who is tasked with operating the crane for Nesscampbell, a Northwest-based crane and rigging company. McArthur, 63, has worked as a crane operator for more than 30 years and operated cranes for numerous construction projects on both the University of Oregon and Oregon State University’s campuses. 

  In Eugene, Ray McArthur operated cranes for the construction of Matthew Knight Arena, the EMU’s renovation, student housing, Autzen Stadium’s renovation, the Casanova extension, The Rec and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

In Eugene, Ray McArthur operated cranes for the construction of Matthew Knight Arena, the EMU’s renovation, student housing, Autzen Stadium’s renovation, the Casanova extension, The Rec and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

In Eugene, McArthur operated cranes for the construction of Matthew Knight Arena, the EMU’s renovation, student housing, Autzen Stadium’s renovation, the Casanova extension, The Rec and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. He also worked on multiples projects at OSU including Reser Stadium and a science building. He is currently working on the Tykeson Hall construction project, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019.

McArthur, who lives in Pleasant Hill, Oregon, is a seasoned tower crane operator who portrays a surprising amount of calmness despite using such heavy machinery. But that wasn’t always the case.

“I used to seriously have to sit with two rags on my legs,” McArthur said. “I’d rub my hands on them just ‘cause I’d sweat that much.”

McArthur worked as a laborer in the construction industry for 10 years before he became involved in operating heavy machinery. He first started out operating boom trucks, then hydro cranes and continued to move into working with larger equipment as time went on. The first time he operated a crane was when a construction site superintendent asked if he would cover for the site’s tower operator, who had gone on vacation for the week.

“[The superintendent’s] operator in Portland was going to go deer hunting or something, so he wanted to know if I would cover for him,” McArthur said. “I had never been in a tower crane before so I said ‘Hell yeah, let’s do it.’”

There was no required training or necessary qualifications for operating tower cranes when McArthur first began operating in the 1980s. Now there is a five-year apprenticeship required to break into the profession.

On his first job, the site superintendent promised McArthur a week-long training session from the regular operator. After not finding time to go up in the crane on either Monday or Tuesday, the two finally made it up on Wednesday for a two-hour training session. The operator then told McArthur they would pick up where they left off the next morning, but that isn’t how it happened.

“Thursday morning, I’m waiting for the operator to show up to give me some more instruction,” McArthur said. “So I’m looking around, looking around and the son of a gun never came back in. Two hours of training and then the thing was in my lap. Talk about being scared.”

McArthur was thrown into the fire on his first crane operating job, but even after two decades of experience, he still considers his profession stressful.

“It gets pretty intense sometimes,” McArthur said. “I didn’t have grey hair before I started this job.”

The level of stress McArthur regularly experiences depends on factors such as the weather conditions, how much work there is and what type of work needs to be completed.

McArthur says the best way to avoid those stressful situations is good communication. Groundworkers communicate with the crane operator by using a combination of radio messages and hand signals. On large construction sites, operators work with a bellman who serves as eyes on the ground, but for smaller sites such as Tykeson Hall, McArthur is on his own.

In order to work safely and effectively, operators must build a trust with the workers on the ground, McArthur said. This is especially true when the crane is operating in a blind spot that McArthur can’t see.

“If I can see it, I don’t sweat it,” McArthur said, “but if I can’t see it, if I’m picking stuff out of the basement or way over there where I can’t see, then those guys are running the crane, basically. I’m just doing what they tell me to do.”

Luckily, McArthur knows most of the other workers on the Tykeson Hall site, which gives him insight on who to trust and who to keep a closer eye on.

McArthur thought that Tykeson Hall would be his last job before retirement, but he’s a motorhead and couldn’t resist making an investment in a classic Chevy Nova last fall. Instead of retiring, he will operate the tower crane for the Knight Science Campus construction project, which broke ground in March 2018.

But for McArthur, delaying his retirement plans isn’t such a bad thing. Despite the stress that can come with being a crane operator, he truly loves the work he has made a career out of.

“I like the guys I work with. I like the challenge because every day is a challenge,” McArthur said. “Every day is something different. It’s not the same thing every day.”

For the full photo gallery, see "Photos: Climbing the campus crane" by Sarah Northrop.

1203 Willamette Construction Vignettes

Shout out to Project Superintendent Trevor Mael, Project Manager Dan Skotte, and their team at Essex General Construction for making all these vignettes possible!

1203 Willamette Construction Sequences

Steps in the Sequence:

1. Existing 2017 Facade 

2. Existing Facade Stripped Back to Reveal Original Structure

3. Existing Columns Reinforced and New Columns Inserted

4. Glulam and Concrete Shear Wall Inserted; Weather Barrier Going in Place

5. Windows, Garage Doors, and Cladding Installed

6. Finished 2018 Facade

Steps in the Sequence:

1. Existing 2017 Interior with Metal Window Grating Removed

2. Existing Wall Stripped Back to Reveal Original Structure

3. New Columns Inserted

4. Gypcrete Floor Installed

5. Sprinklers Installed

6. Finished 2018 Interior - Rowell Brokaw's Office

OSU's New Ice Core Freezers

Project Manager Tricia Berg stepped into the −13°C ice core freezer as part of her punch list for the OSU Marine and Geology Repository. In order to ensure the perfect temperature for ice cores collected around the world, this room is equipped with evaporators, insulated sandwich panels, and an insulated concrete slab. Tricia also inspected the sediment sample rooms where sediments will be placed within the 23' tall space on 19' racks. A specialized sprinkler system with high pressure water serves as a back-up emergency system for the space. In the coming weeks, precious ice and sediment cores, acquired from Florida State under a national grant program, will be stored in OSU's new repository facility.

Jefferson Library First Look

parade building interior.jpg

As part of a 4th of July ceremony, Jefferson Library held a pet parade from their old library to their new one. The fire department led the parade and the sheriff brought up the rear to make sure no one got lost—participants included the Festival of Flowers Princess, stuffed animals, live pigs, a large snake, children, dogs, turtles, adults, wagon floats and much more. After some popsicles were consumed, there was a building tour of the new library. Move-in is slated for September. 

Amazon Corner Construction Update

June 8, 2018. View of Spencer Butte from 5th floor terrace. 

Form needs a face. The cladding for Amazon Corner is being installed. The building will feature a mix of brick veneer, Parklex, stucco, and metal cladding. The site is also coming along. A stormwater planter has been cast in the parking lot. A concrete, jogged walkway in the divider between lanes on Hilyard Street marks the beginning of a pedestrian crosswalk. Amazon Corner is anticipated to open in September.

2018 AIA / SWO Design Awards

Rowell Brokaw Architects receives Three Design Awards at the 2018 AIA Southwestern Oregon Design Awards

Rowell Brokaw Architects, PC is honored to be among the recipients of the 2018 AIA Southwestern Oregon (SWO) Design Awards. This year Rowell Brokaw received three awards, including one Honor Award. This Design Award Program is the profession’s highest recognition for work that exemplifies design excellence and enhances the built environment. The AIA-SWO Design Awards Program occurs every four-to-five years.

On June 29, the AIA-SWO Design Awards Banquet was held in the Ballroom of the UO Ford Alumni Center. Of the 30 projects submitted, 9 projects were singled out for recognition.

Judging this year’s entries were Gary J. Aquilina, AIA, from CAS Architects, Mountain View, CA; Carrie Strickland, FAIA, from Works Progress architects, Portland, L.A., and Denver; Cassandra Keller from Clark Keller, Canberra, Australia; Robert Hastings, FAIA, the Agency Architect for TriMet in Portland; and Ruth Baleiko, AIA, from Miller Hull, Seattle office. 



Arts and Technology Academy

Architecture Firm: Rowell Brokaw Architects in collaboration with Opsis Architecture

Project Team: Mark Young, Greg Brokaw, John Rowell, Patrick Hannah, Elaine Lawson, Britni Jessup, Ken Hutchinson, Matt Travis, Peter Utsey, and Austin Bailey at RB and Alec Holser, Jim Kalvelage, Joe Baldwin, Jeri Tess, and Nate Wood at Opsis with Catena Consulting Engineers, Interface Engineering, Cameron McCarthy

Owner/Client: 4J Eugene School District

Contractor: John Hyland Construction

Photographer: Christian Columbres Photography

Jury’s Comments: “A fantastic renovation of an existing school that interprets a new pedagogy for STEM curriculum with a new organization for this middle school. The result feels like a completely new institution that embraces open and transparent spaces for learning. New relationships are skillfully organized both in plan and section by providing places of learning for classes as well as small groups and individual spaces. The result is a unifying whole of existing spaces, materials, and structure with the new additions that create a complete translation for the school. Particular skill was demonstrated in the architectural treatments that unify existing structure, materials, and spaces with the new construction. The end result is both robust and delicate…elegant and durable.”



1203 Willamette

Architecture Firm: Rowell Brokaw Architects

Project Team: John Rowell, Greg Brokaw, Patrick Hannah, Britni Jessup, Tricia Berg, Lorri Nelson, Paul Harman with deChase Miksis, Catena Consulting Engineers, Innovative Air, and Reynold's Electric

Owner/Client: 1203 Willamette, LLC

Contractor: Essex General Construction

Photographer: Christian Columbres Photography, Erik Bishoff Photography

Jury Comments: “The adaptive reuse of a 1940’s era furniture store, with limited relationship with the life of downtown Eugene, is a terrific case study of urban revitalization. The design decision of using ‘removal rather than insertion’ proved to be an excellent strategy. By engaging both levels of the original building, it completely transforms the streetscape and greatly contributes to the City’s livability. The jury commends the use of the building’s elements of wood structure, open fenestrations, and authentic materials to create lively interior and exterior spaces. In particular, the jury recognizes the careful proportions, scale of spaces, use of elemental materials, interior and exterior lighting, vertical circulation and layering of movement.”



Roseburg Forest Products Headquarters

Architecture Firm: Rowell Brokaw Architects

Project Team: Greg Brokaw, Britni Jessup, Frank Visconti, Lorri Nelson with Catena Consulting Engineers, Comfort Flow, and EC Electric

Owner/Client: Roseburg Forest Products

Contractor: McKenzie Commercial Contracting

Photographer: Christian Columbres Photography, Frank Visconti

Jury Comments: “What could have been another example of treating large box buildings as part of our disposable society, instead became a wonderful revitalization. The plan to organize the perimeter of the triangulated building into open offices, while enlivening the center with gathering and meeting spaces, resulted in a compete transformation. The clear use of materials, color, natural and artificial lighting, and furnishings is exemplary. What is especially powerful is the creation of a central space that promotes and engenders equity.”

Eugene River District Rendering featured in Register-Guard


Article in the Register-Guard

Eugene residents want mix of natural, urban features in Willamette riverfront park

By Ed Russo
The Register-Guard
June 4, 2018

Eugene residents want a mix of urban and natural features in the planned Willamette riverfront park on the east edge of downtown.

City officials are soliciting ideas from the public to help create the park on a narrow stretch of the former Eugene Water & Electric Board utility yard next to the river. The 3-acre park, across the Willamette River from Alton Baker Park, is a key piece in the city’s plan to redevelop 16 acres of former EWEB property into a vibrant urban area.

About 100 people attended a meeting on May 24 to share their views on what they want to see in the park. Residents spoke with landscape architects from Walker Macy, the Portland firm hired by the city to develop a design concept by September. An online survey, taken by more than 700 people, also is being used to gather public opinion. The survey is open until June 14.

Presently, the only public access to the property is a bike path that runs along the steep, tree-and-brush-covered edge of the riverbank, about a dozen feet above the river.

EWEB earlier had agreed to donate the 3-acre property for the park, and the city agreed to spend at least $3 million to develop it. EWEB, a publicly owned utility, has agreed to pay $250,000 to the city for maintenance of the park.

Emily Proudfoot, the city’s manager for the park project, said residents want the park to be developed so they can “see and connect with the Willamette River in ways that they can’t do now.”

To do that, most people have said they want the park to include a combination of urban and natural features.

“Respondents are saying that they want an active, safe and fun place to bring their families and kids, and to include public art and history as important aspects of the design,” Proudfoot said. “In general, we are reaffirming that the community wants an urban riverfront park in downtown Eugene.”

The city plans to hold a meeting on July 19 for residents to comment on designs developed by Walker Macy. A final concept is expected to be finished by Sept. 27.

Meanwhile, two public events this month will gather public opinion about the city’s plans to develop much of the 16-acre property, which it purchased last month from EWEB for $5.7 million.

Last week, city officials said they have agreed to terms with Portland-based Williams/Dame & Associates to redevelop about half of the former utility yard.

Under the proposed deal, Williams/Dame would pay about $2.7 million for the unimproved land and commit to build 215 apartments, 70 townhouses and a 125-room hotel on it. The city would lease to Williams/Dame two parcels for 14,000 square feet of commercial space and a restaurant.

The other half of the former EWEB property would be developed for an affordable housing project, streets, a public plaza and other uses.

On June 20, Williams/Dame representatives will share their ideas with the public in an open house in EWEB’s north headquarters building.

On June 25, the City Council will hold a public hearing on the city’s proposed redevelopment agreement with Dame/Williams.

Separately, the city is seeking a buyer to redevelop the vacant steam plant, which Williams/Dame did not want to buy.

Williams/Dame led the redevelopment of the Pearl and South Waterfront Districts in Portland, as well as a neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles. The design team for the Eugene property includes SERA Architects of Portland, which designed the Tate condominiums near West 13th Avenue and Olive Street, and the renovation of the Erb Memorial Union at the University of Oregon.

What’s next

Two public meetings will be held in June to provide information and get comments on plans to redevelop the former Eugene Water & Electric Board property along the Willamette River.

June 20: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Williams/Dame and city staff will present information at an open house at EWEB’s north headquarters community room, 500 E. Fourth Ave.

June 25: 7:30 p.m. Public hearing before City Council, acting as Urban Renewal Agency, in Harris Hall, 125 E. Eighth Ave., on proposed development agreement with Williams/Dame.

For information: eugene-or.gov/riverfront

Spring 2018 Practicum Student Steven Liang

Under the mentorship of Frank Visconti, University of Oregon student Steven Liang completed a Spring practicum with Rowell Brokaw. The purpose of the practicum is for the student to gain exposure to the many facets of real-life projects at an architecture firm. Among other experiences, Steven went on site visits and attended OAC meetings at Pacific HallAmazon Corner, and the South Hills House. He also gained knowledge of the latest architectural practices used in offices. "I give credit to Frank," he said, "because he's really good at many programs, such as Lumion, Revit, and VR." Steven also worked on an entry for the AIA-SWO Design Awards and "learned how to put a large chunk of information together in a presentation." He enjoyed the firm culture, which he described as "open" and "collaborative." Steven will graduate with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon in July.