From Urban Land writer William Macht: “Building small but tall office buildings on very small sites is a challenge. Developing with no anchor tenant s or parking exacerbates the difficulty exponentially. Bur the bSIDE6 building on a downtown frings site in Portland, Oregon demonstrates how dramatic architecture, coupled with dogged persistence, can persuade lenders, the city, and the market to overcome these challenges.
“In 2006, the principals of bSIDE6 found a small vacant lot — only 38 by 100 feet. The site is only one block from the new Eastside Streetcar Loop. Neighboring buildings were permitted to build arcaded buildings over the sidewalks when their properties were narrowed in the 1920s to widen the street. The developers sought to follow this old design technique by projecting upper volumes above the sidewalk.
“Works Partnership was the young architecture firm that had designed the adaptive use of nearby creative-space buildings that had attracted many startup, young, and growing companies. As is often the case, the constraints of a project can constitute the seeds of their solution. The fact that the floor plates might only average 3,800 square feet meant that entire floors could be leased to single tenants, minimizing common areas.
“Thought bSIDE6 is radically modern, unlike the neighboring arcaded buildings, it shares the same language of form and therefore respects and enhances the district.” This article is not available online, only in Urban Land Magazine, so join ULI already!