(formerly Chinese Tea Room)
Architect: Skylab Design Group, Jeff Kovel, designer, 2004
bar/diner/live music venue is clearly one of Portland's most exciting commercial designs of the new millennium. In fact, I urge the reader to simply visit the building (and the Jupiter Hotel's lobby, which is in the same building) if he or she has not already done so. The Doug Fir has an innovative and playful design that is astonishingly well executed; Eric Bartels describes it as looking like a "hunting lodge from outer space."
* Aesthetics aside, the Douglas fir logs inside the Doug Fir are intended to diffuse sound waves from the live music shows downstairs. Speaking of which, Playboy rated the Doug Fir one of the ten best rock clubs in the U.S.
Formerly a defunct diner on a seedy stretch of road, the Doug Fir's makeover has Northwest flair to spare. Mixing equal parts truck stop, ski lodge, and urban hipster hangout, the result is simultaneously (and literally) rough-hewn and slick. (And it's open twenty-one hours a day!) On the same property, the Jupiter Hotel, which is the preferred lodging for bands on tour, is another retro-hip transformation of a Burnside relic by the same firm. Together, the lounge and hotel may verge on Ã¼ber-hip, but the playful, creative design elements defuse pretension and are just plain fun. Oh, and while you're here, be sure to check out the Burnside Rocket which is a bit east and across the street.
* Skylab Design Group designed a trade show booth for Mattel: Barbie's Dream House. The cool-looking Dream House was centered around a "playground-style ball pit pool." (We don't know what that means either.)Less Text