Architect: Ellerbe Becket (Kansas City, Missouri), 1995
Previously a parking lot, the Rose Garden
is a 785,000-square-foot arena that was built for $262 million. The design itself is not particularly distinctive as giant arenas go; the architect of the Rose Garden specializes in these designs, and he didn't even have a local consulting firm. This made the design review process an antagonistic one, but that's all water under the Steel Bridge now.
The Rose Garden's roof resembles a Belgian ship-captain's cap; its nautically themed hat fits in with the nearby river. Situating it next to the transit center was an inspired stroke, obviating the need for the huge parking lots that would otherwise gobble up precious riverfront area, as happened in Cincinnati, with its two sports coliseums.
* Rose Garden visitors have often expressed the wish to destroy the waterfront grain silos to the west that block the view of the river and downtown. Unfortunately, some people feel the same way about the Rose Garden itself. It was voted one of the city's five ugliest buildings in a 2006 survey of local architects by the Portland Tribune.
The Rose Garden holds anywhere from about twenty-one to twenty-three thousand people, with views ranging from great to alpine. Outside, it has a rather murky interface with the commercially designed pedestrian strip next to the arena, the Rose Quarter (a.k.a. the Ghost Quarter). As the Rose Quarter faces inward, it rarely draws crowds outside of event time. The once-ballyhooed "Portland Commons" (the largest public space in Portland!) next to the Rose Garden has never lived up to expectations, hemmed in as it is with buildings and parking garages.
* 45,000 tons of construction debris was recycled into the construction of this arena.Less Text