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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Eugene selects deChase Miksis Development team to renovate downtown steam plant
By Elon Glucklich
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.”
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.
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.
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, 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
2018 AIA / SWO HONOR AWARD
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.”
2018 AIA / SWO MERIT AWARD
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.”
2018 AIA / SWO CITATION AWARD
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 residents want mix of natural, urban features in Willamette riverfront park
By Ed Russo
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.
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
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 Hall, Amazon 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.
Central to the re-envisioning of 1203 Willamette was the idea of opening up the facade to the street via garage doors and windows, revealing the interior wood structure, and allowing daylight to penetrate the building. The intention is to create a welcoming exterior and connective interior through transparency and warmth.
Artist Garrick Imatani spoke at the Blessing Ceremony for the installation of his artwork at UO Straub Hall. The installation includes a sculpture of the Tomanowas (Willamette Meteorite), sacred to the Clackamas (now part of the Grand Ronde tribe), that floats in front of a mural of the Missoula Floods. This installation is part of the Percent for Art project by the state of Oregon. For more on the installation, see Sculpture of Meteorite Installed in Straub Hall Atrium.
Operated through the Architecture Foundation of Oregon (AFO) organization, Architects in Schools (AIS) is a statewide, six-week residency program for elementary and middle schools where students and classroom teachers work directly with practicing architects and other design professionals with the goal of developing awareness and understanding of the designed and built environment.
This year Britni Jessup and Nicola Fucigna worked with 4th grade classroom teachers Sarah Knudsen and Norina Vazque at the Buena Vista Spanish Immersion School. For the overarching classroom project, they had students develop innovative learning spaces in the style of a famous architect. Students researched their architects alongside exploring the programmatic and user needs of a learning space. They answered such questions as “How would my architect treat the walls, roof, and overall massing? What materials would my architect use? How does this effect the users’ experience?” At the end of the project, students built models of their learning spaces with removable roofs to expose the interiors.
Austin Bailey worked with 4th grade classroom teacher Jonny Hellner at Willagillespie Elementary. Their final project combined Northwest Coast history and architecture. Each student designed a "Tillamook House," a Native American dwelling.
When possible, Rowell Brokaw enjoys sponsoring projects and events in Eugene. One project that has been completed in time for Earth Day is the installation of solar panels (or photovoltaic cells) on the roof of Buena Vista Elementary School. The school was awarded a grant from EWEB's Greenpower program for their "PV 4 BV Solar Initiative" project, which will give "real time" energy data in the classroom to support class projects. Here's an educational video (both in English and in Spanish) developed alongside the project by Attic Media:
Another event, that we are very proud to help sponsor, is occurring this weekend: the DisOrient Film Festival. Here is the festival's mission: "DisOrient is the premiere Asian American, social justice film festival of Oregon. Our films—'By us, for us and about us'—break open the one-dimensional stereotype of the 'Oriental.' We believe in the power of film to inform, heal and connect people. We bring power to our voice as we share our stories and advocate for social justice."
Hope to see you at the event and Happy Earth Day!