Blog
   June 5, 2019

On April 9, Otak submitted a Type 3 land use application for the precedent-setting Hyatt Place and Allison Residences, a 23-story mixed-use building containing 170 hotel rooms and 110 residential units. The ground level will offer areas for residents, visitors, and neighbors to gather, while the top of the building will consist of lounge and event spaces, a fitness center, and a guest kitchen. This project is the second hospitality + housing high-rise building designed by Otak, the first being Hotel Indigo/Kirkland Tower on the Vancouver waterfront.

Adding accommodations in a tight housing market

Representing a new kind of sustainable design for hospitality and housing in Portland, helped by a change in the City of Portland’s zoning codes, the Hyatt Place and Allison Residences project adds market rate and affordable housing in a tight real estate market. The City must provide growth capacity for 123,000 new households through 2035.

First building to use the City’s new design code allowing a greater height

The design team has made a rare and unique use of urban space, combining lodging and amenities into one-quarter block. The new Portland Central City 2035 zoning changes, which came into effect in summer 2018, transformed the opportunities for this 10,000-square-foot property. In response to recent urban growth, the City is allowing unlimited density, or floor-area ratio, and a new allowable maximum height of 250 feet for this property if it includes affordable housing.

With a 23-story building on a small footprint, efficient and elegant design is paramount. The two different types of use require two separate entrances, with priority given to pedestrian experience. 

Solving next-level sustainability challenges

Cars no longer drive urban planning. Portland’s trendy Pearl District is the perfect place to live and work car-free, so it’s the optimal location for this creative new property. As fewer of the young people moving to Portland own cars and as ride-sharing increases, the City wanted a building without parking. The design and development team embraced the opportunity for innovative, sustainable design and has chosen to use Green Globes to guide its sustainable design practices. The team is also working with the Energy Trust of Oregon to explore incentives and rebates for sustainable and efficiency elements. A green roof will form the team’s strategy for stormwater retention. This building meets the current needs of today, solving human-level sustainability issues.

Responding to neighborhood’s needs, presenting a new standard for development

While the building will be higher than all the others in its four-block radius, it is designed to respond to the rest of the neighborhood. From the concrete base, moving upward with metal panels, the design symbolizes moving into the future, yet also focused on protecting the past. The design and development team are focusing on protecting buildings that are worthy of protection, by transferring floor-area ratio (FAR) to the site from historical buildings in the area.

Residents will benefit from a new spot to grab coffee, wine, or a bite to eat, either in a new café or on the sidewalk under the new tree canopy. The building will offer hotel conveniences to tenants and fit in seamlessly with the surrounding neighborhood. This new building will be designed to fit the way people live, work, and play.

Collaborating with residents, the City of Portland, and other building owners in the design

After consulting with the City of Portland and attending two meetings with the Pearl District Neighborhood Association’s Land Use and Transportation Committee, the design team has submitted its land use application to the City. The team took into consideration all concerns and suggestions through a highly collaborative process.

“Given the significance of this precedent-setting, innovative mixed-use building, the architecture must be exceptional,” said Brian Fleener, Otak’s Director of Architecture. “How this building transitions from the tower down to the pedestrian realm, and complements the neighborhood’s architecture and character, will be critical.”

The design includes these responses and elements:

  • Massing was further refined by moving the fitness center from the northwest corner of the building to the southeast corner. This creates a single, glazed two-story crown for the tower that is much more coherent and focuses the architecture of the crown into a more powerful statement. Vertical slots on the east and west facades are further integrated with the crown, articulating the paired tower forms of the building. Balcony windows are inset to better integrate balconies in the building façade. Balcony panels were modified to permit more windows to open to the balcony and further integrate the balconies. The east wall has the maximum number of windows allowed by building code.

  • The northwest corner of the building was revised to add large balconies in the west wall at the residential units and two additional windows in each of the hotel rooms. This makes the corner more visually appealing, adding to the texture and interest of the corner at the intersection of 12th and Flanders.

  • Landscaping follows the River District right-of-way standards. The hotel entrance is located on the northwest corner of the site, with a large glass vestibule that opens to both north and west. The height of the tree canopy, coupled with the signage, makes the hotel entrance prominent. The residential entrance has a lower tree canopy with landscape elements that distinguish it from the hotel portion. The bike entrance is more open and welcoming, with storefront glazing and lighting design that promotes transparency, safety, and activity. Art and water features are architecturally integrated into the building, with panels that represent Portland rain and Portland themes.

Over 20 years ago, the once-dilapidated Pearl District came back to life through the visionary collaboration of the City and private developers. Now the area has a worldwide reputation for urban renaissance. The Pearl District will have a new architectural innovation in 2022—our city’s first new combined hospitality and housing space!

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