Portland is a land of immense development and counterculture in providence to its dense population. This population is accommodated in the vertical communities due to the rising insufficient land availability and connectivity. Hence houses some of the longest skyscrapers of the world.

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1. WELLS FARGO CENTER, PORTLAND OREGON

The Wells Fargo center is the tallest skyscraper dominating the urban skyline of Portland at an astonishing height of 166.4m. The building is a 41 storey tower with a five storey adjacent office building with three levels of underground parking. The building raised not only the skyline of the city but also the ire of the Portlanders and architecture critics. The building hindered the view of Mount Hood for the wealthy west Portlanders and the building was too sleek and featureless for the critics. The strong opposition that this building faced brought in a new set of building regulations for the skyscrapers of Portland.

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2. U.S. BANCORP TOWER

The U.S. Bancorp tower aka the big pink is the second tallest tower in Portland with the largest volume of 740,000ft office space. Its unique shape is attributed to its site having no right angles thus providing different views at different angles for the same building. The building was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) with Pietro Belluschi as the consultant who mainly focused on the light and shadow of the building and gave the exterior of the building the pink hue using pink granite and glass. The pink granite covering the building was quarried in Spain. The glass used for the windows is also pink, an effect caused by its being “glazed in a semi-transparent coating of copper and silver that looks pink from the outside”. The windows can absorb or reflect light depending upon how much light is upon them, while the surrounding granite may appear darker or lighter than the window panes, depending upon the time of day.

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3. KOIN CENTER

The KOIN centre is a distinguishable skyscraper in Portland with its exterior being reminiscent of the art deco style with its step backs in its footprint with increasing height and its multi-faceted form.  It occupies an entire city block and is clad in orange brick and trimmed with white limestone at the base; the sloping roof forming the pyramidal crown is prefinished galvanized steel. An unique feature of the skyscraper is its distinct center based on purpose only giving a providence to an integrated urban movement with its neighbours in downtown Portland. It was certified LEED platinum.

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4. PARK AVENUE WEST

The Park Avenue west tower is the fourth tallest tower in Portland with a height of 140.2m. The 30-story   building sports a large terrace three-quarters of the way up its south side that features a large evergreen tree, adding a touch of the forest to Portland’s skyline. The tower underwent numerous lawsuits and oppositions during its construction period which brought in various changes to   the original proposed building plan affecting its proposed height and Investors.

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5. FOX TOWER

The fox tower is at a height of 372.0 ft., a full on commercial skyscraper that reflected what Portland stood for – sustainable urban development. It was awarded Gold (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2012 for its sustainability. The building is most notable for the contrast between its curving east side and boxy west side. The juxtaposition of the building’s angles create a unique profile from each side. This multiplanar and set-back design is meant to prevent as much of the building’s shadow as possible from falling upon Pioneer square courthouse on the opposite corner.

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6. STANDARD INSURANCE CENTER

The boxed white building known as standard insurance centre was completed in the 1970 and was the tallest reinforced concrete structure at its time of construction and completion. It was commissioned by Georgia pacific and was helped by Skidmire, Ownings and Merril. The building is 27 storeys tall that is 112m.

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7. EDITH GREEN- WENDELL WYATT FEDERAL BUILDING

The 18-story building has 34,602.8 m2  of space and stands 82 m tall.  It is built of concrete and steel, the high-rise is in the international style of architecture. The building is named after former members of Congress Edith Green (1910-1987) and Wendell Wyatt (1917-2009), who both left Congress in 1975. The latter was a native Oregonian who studied law at the University of Oregon before joining the FBI and Marine Corps. A veteran of World War II, he served as Congressman from Oregon’s 1st congressional district for ten years as a Republican.  Edith Green grew up in Oregon, a Democrat, she spent nearly 20 years representing Oregon’s 3rd congressional district.

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8. COSMOPOLITAN ON THE PARK

Cosmopolitan on the park or more famously the cosmopolitan is a high rise condominium at a height of 104 m. The condos feature luxury detail, like marble, walnut and oak finishes throughout the building, along with premium appliances and fixtures. It was a sign of development that the neighbourhood of the pearl district has achieved in 20 years.

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9. JOHN ROSS TOWER

John Ross tower is a condominium skyscraper in the South Waterfront neighbourhood in Portland, Oregon. It stands at a height of 99.1 m, the first building in the district to reach the maximum height allowed for development and Portland’s seventh-tallest building. The building contains 31 elliptical-shaped floors and 303 units. The topmost penthouse occupies the entire 31st floor and allows for a full 360 degree view.

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10. MIRABELLA PORTLAND

Mirabella is a skyscraper at a height of 99m done by Ankrom Moisan Architects .The Mirabella consists of 30 floors and features 284 senior citizen housing units. The building is the first senior living community in the South Waterfront District. Mirabella received a platinum certification under LEED guidelines.

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11. ARDEA

The Ardea also known as 3720, is a 30-story (99.06 m) apartment skyscraper in the South Waterfront district .The Ardea was developed by Gerding Edlen, designed by GBD Architects, and constructed by Hoffman Construction. The building was initially designed to be a condominium building but was converted to apartments after the Portland housing and condominium supply outstripped demand. The Ardea is side to side with John Ross Tower as the seventh tallest building in Portland. The Ardea received an Excellence in Concrete Award in 2009 for the unique application of precast that runs up the exterior of the building in two vertical bands on both the north and south faces.

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12. CONGRESS CENTER

Congress Center formerly known as the Orbanco Building and Security Pacific Plaza is an office building completed in 1980 It is currently the ninth tallest building in the city. The firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) designed Congress Center, with reflective dark glass that contrasts with the mostly white or lighter colored architecture common in Portland’s architectural history. The building earned gold LEED certification in 2012 for its sustainability.

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13. PORTLAND PLAZA

The Portland Plaza is a condominium skyscraper at a height of 83 m and contains 26 floors. The Portland Plaza was designed by the firm of DMJM and was completed in 1973. The building is sometimes referred to as the “Norelco Building”, owing to its metallic siding and its footprint bearing a resemblance to an electric shaver. The building’s unique exterior and strategic site location creates a 20 the century modernist era feel to the neighbourhood.

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14. YARD

The yard is one of a kind skyscraper to litter the skyline with its unique roofing and dark appearance. The controversial building that slipped through all approval procedures provides a startling relief to all the lookalike high rises found in Portland.  It stands out with its eco-roof, communal lounge area and Knot Springs day-spa.

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15. HASSALO ON EIGHTH

The Hassalo on Eighth is a multi-building, mixed-use high-rise building located in the Lloyd District completed in 2015, and the tallest tower rises to a height of 81 m. The three-building development contains both residential and commercial space. The complex’s name comes from its location at the intersection of NE Hassalo and Eighth streets in the Lloyd District. Aster Tower is the tallest of the three buildings, rising to 21 stories.

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Author

Sahana is a third year b arch student in chennai, who loves her coffee and comics . A perfect procrastinator and a day dreamer , she strongly believes that change can start from meaningful conversations.

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Rethinking The Future Awards 2022