Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Creating Neighborhood, Russellville Commons
©MCM Architects 2011 All Rights Reserved
Creating a neighborhood oriented around a linear series of park blocks was our design goal in for the Russellville Commons project in Portland, Oregon. The project has about 500 units on a 12 acre site. What is unique about this design is that rather than designing a typical apartment project surrounded by and accessed from a series of large parking lots, we actually introduced a public street grid, with on street parking, onto the super block site, organizing the streets around central park blocks. This not only connected the project with the surrounding neighborhood it provided organization and structure to an apartment project that had over 25 separate buildings. Parking lots were placed behind the buildings and connected by landscaped pedestrian walkways to the main park blocks and new streets. The building and unit entries orient to either the new streets or to the park blocks, which in turn connect to Portland's light rail system.
The public spaces and streets are shared by a diverse cross section of people because the project includes regular rental apartments, senior living apartments and assisted living units. So rather be isolated in buildings surrounded by parking lots, the residents of Russellville Commons, of all ages, participate in creating a true neighborhood.