The Portland Mall, which extends 58 blocks through the city’s downtown, has been reborn as a premier civic space following a renovation by locally based ZGF Architects. The project included the design of exclusive transit lanes, dedicated lanes for cars and bicycles, and parking–loading zones. Two major hotels and more than 40 storefronts were renovated in separate projects.
Jury: “This project asserts that urban design can really work, and exemplified this through design at both the large scale and the detail. … It has been beautifully executed, with fine design details upgrading the good bones of the existing situation.”
Client: “The downtown transit mall is such a vital, important, and iconic aspect of the city. It has been 30 years since we first envisioned it and had buses running on it. We really wanted to introduce light-rail service into the mix. … This was not a top-down, transit-agency design. This was a community design that really paid tribute not only to the transportation element, but also the redevelopment leveraging and the renewal aspects of the mall. The result has been fantastic.” —Dan Blocher, executive director of capital projects, TriMet