The Cooper Union
School of Architecture

Portland, Oregon

The design of the Park of the Portland Aerial Tramway competition is the landscape component of a collaboration of Catherine Seavitt STUDIO, with Guy Nordenson and Associates and Architecture Research Office. The project consists of Tower and Bridge components, linked by the Park, as part of the new Aerial Tramway Station connecting the Willamette River Waterfront Development with the hospital complex located at the ridgeline of Marquam Hill.

The Park presents itself visually as a linear pathway, beginning at the ridgeline of the Hill, descending along the axis of the tramway at Gibbs Street, and extending to the Willamette riverfront and beyond to Mount Hood. As this visual wedge of color begins to open at the Hood Avenue landing of the Footbridge, the Park casts itself as a long shadow projected from the vertical pillars of the Tower toward the Willamette River. The river enters the Park, engaging its history as wetlands. Piers extend from the park into the river, reminiscent of the traditional salmon fishing platforms along the Columbia River. Three species of native grasses are interplanted with wildflowers, allowing the colors and textures of the garden fields to transform with the seasons. A linear rose garden extends from the lower tramway station to the riverfront. The edge of the Park is planted with rhododendrons, establishing a visual link with the rhododendrons planted as green street enhancements along the entire length of Gibbs Street up to the ridgeline of Marquam Hill. The trellises of the footbridge are intertwined with the state flower, the Oregon-grape. The Park acts as an integral link between Portland’s riverfront, the new South Waterfront Development, and the Corbett Terwilliger Lair Hill neighborhood. Public transit nodes of the new Aerial Tramway and the Central City Street Car, with a proposed extension along the waterfront, are incorporated within the Park.

Design team:
Landscape Design: Catherine Seavitt STUDIO, New York
Structural Engineering: Guy Nordenson and Associates, New York
Architectural Design: Architecture Research Office (ARO), New York

Visiting Professor, Adjunct Faculty