Magazine article Sunset

The Western Home Notebook

Magazine article Sunset

The Western Home Notebook

Article excerpt

The Portland chapter of the American Institute of Architects invited me to be one of three judges for its 1997 regional architecture awards program. After reviewing more than 80 projects, we gave our top awards to a stately federal court building, a new high school, a water district research facility, and one delightful project that I'm not sure qualifies as architecture. It's an intersection.

S.E. Ninth Avenue and S.E. Sherrett Street cross in a modest, bungalowfilled neighborhood. We visited the site and immediately noticed the concentric circles in a rainbow of colors painted in the intersection. Radiating from the center and aimed down each street are three broad white bands forming the symbol for a Hopi Tree of Life. (The patterns and bright colors have the added virtue of slowing traffic.)

Then we saw the colorful, eccentrically shaped kiosks-cobbled together from old windows and weathered recycled lumber-that dot the flanking yards and parking strips. Many have wood and plastic roofs that look like parasols folded in half These sculptural structures function as a lending library, a coffee and tea stand, a stand for selling extra toys and homegrown produce, a bulletin board, and a game shed complete with checkers and chess tables. …

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