a.k.a. Pacwest Tower, the "Icecube Building"
Architect: Hugh Stubbins & Associates (New York),
In a 1997 poll of building owners and architects, the Wall Street Journal heralded the Pacwest Center as one of the ten best office buildings in the United States. But what's so great about it?
For starters, this gleaming, science-fictional skyscraper accomplishes the improbable: it forms a stylistic link with the stone-faced Renaissance-style Portland City Hall, which was designed a century earlier. This was accomplished by giving the Fifth Avenue side of the Pacwest Center a low, "U"-shaped wing (topped with gable-shaped decorations) replicating the form of City Hall's wings. The building is primarily silver in appearance, but the bands of darkly tinted glass give it a design counterbalance. And its stepped roofline gives the eye one more element to enjoy.
Architect Hugh Stubbins may also have designed Portland's only building that pays homage to Pietro Belluschi's trail-blazing Commonwealth Building. Like the Commonwealth Building, the Pacwest has a cool, even cold aluminum look (the metal was imported from Japan), while also replicating the Commonwealth's smooth surface. In addition, its rounded corners give it a hint of the streamlined style of an Art Deco variant, like that of a vintage Greyhound bus or chrome diner. This building would not look out of place on the cover of a pulp science-fiction magazine from the 1940s like Astounding Stories. ("See the City of the Future!")Less Text