Scrapbook of a Future Nobleman

Re-Envisioning South Willamette

In the Spring Term, my studio was about redesigning (or re-envisioning, if you will) South Willamette Street here in Eugene. The city is already involved in this process as they gear up for their next 30-year plan (an Oregon state requirement) and a possible expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary. South Willamette Street, despite having all of the components of a great place – interesting shops, all the necessities, a major transportation corridor, a large urban park, housing, and possible mixed-use space – is one of the worst places in Eugene to spend time, particularly if you don’t have a car. We were tasked, working with the city and the neighborhood, to come up with a plan that would make it a truly walkable, livable area that could be one of the best places in Eugene to live, work, and play.

Our job as architecture students was to present ideas for how the neighborhood could develop over time that would get residents and business owners in the area to think outside of their front yards and on a community scale. At times, this was scary for them, but it seems that they came around as we explained. The City is pursuing this as part of its Envision Eugene process, and has been using our work to help guide the conversation. The video above explains the whole thing in far more detail. For more information, visit this website: http://www.eugene-or.gov/oppsiting. If you click on Architecture Students’ Ideas, you’ll find my groups plan under “Vision 2.”

It’s nice to know that your work matters.

We were also asked to develop a prototype for a new development that would fit in the context of our redesigned South Willamette, and see how dense would could realistically get. I designed a 5-story, two building complex that contained apartments, offices, cafes and retail as well as creating a new pedestrian thoroughfare and two public plazas that connected the very popular Woodfield Station to Southtowne Shoppes. You can see two renderings below the fold.

Willamette Street Plaza Rendering

Oak Street Plaza Rendering

You can find my actual presentation boards on the City’s website if you look here, then select “12_Student Housing Examples” and scroll down to pages 3 and 4.