mithun, seattle

The judges chose Johnson Street Townhomes for a grand award because, as one said, "It's a good piece of urbanism." That comment should please Jim Bodoia, the architect of this upscale, 13-unit condominium project in Port-land's Pearl District. "The other residential buildings in the area tend to be lofts and stacked flats, buildings that are internal in nature," he says. "We wanted to create more of a relationship to the street."

The long, narrow site takes up half a block in this rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Bodoia slipped an alley down the middle of the block, bordering the site's south side, so the majority of the project could be rear-loaded. He lined up seven street-facing units down the length of the site, parallel to the alley, and placed the remaining six along each width, like bookends. The result? No matter which of the three surrounding streets you are standing on, you're looking at friendly facades rather than nondescript side or rear elevations.

Six of the condos have live/work capacity, and Bodoia designed the potential "work" spaces at the front of each unit to provide further opportunities for an enriched streetscape. Slightly elevated entries and front balconies complete the townhomes' graceful handling of the transition from public to private space.

project architect/land planner: James Bodoia, AIA, MITHUN
developer: Sue Miller, Hoyt Street Properties, Portland
general contractor: Pat O'Brien, OTKM Construction, Portland
landscape architect: James Hensley, Perron Collaborative, Portland
interior designer: Alyx Chung, Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects, Portland
project size: 1,800 to 2,700 square feet per unit
site size: 0.44 acre
construction cost: $115 per square foot
sales price: $350,000 to $700,000 per unit
units in project: 13
photographer: Eckert & Eckert