Architect: ELS (Berkeley), 1990; expansion 2000
Although the opening of a shopping mall is not
usually cause for rejoicing, the fact that a small and reasonably tasteful (and, at $134 million, expensive) one was put in the city's center has helped to maintain a vital downtown. Complain all you want, but it could be worse - a lot worse. Some cities have dropped huge malls or stadiums in their downtown areas, but the scale of these two shopping areas is in keeping with the relative scope of the surrounding zone. The public art keeps matters tolerable, and the glass rotunda of the western block insures plenty of natural light for shoppers at the base of the building.
* On opening day in 1990, the escalators at Pioneer Place broke down because of the considerable heft of Portland shoppers. Opening day for the expansion a decade later included the dropping of large clumps of confetti from the mall's roof onto the heads of shoppers below.
A similar atrium serves the same purpose in the expansion, shooting light down for the "English park" feel the designers were looking for. The expansion's garden was created by the installation of eighteen mammoth metal-stemmed and fiberglass-petaled sculptures. Salmon exteriors and terra-cotta trim pay homage to the surrounding locale. Inside, the west block uses more natural wood, while fake stone is on display to the east.
* Pioneer Place was built by the Rouse Company (Maryland) after their purchase of three downtown blocks, a real estate coup not eclipsed till Gerdling/Edlen purchased the five-block Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Co. site in 1999.Less Text