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Thursday, July 6, 2006

The Unity

Posted by on July 6 at 13:08 PM

This picture taken by Kevin Buauman shows Portland’s Belmont Street Lofts at dusk. Designed by Holst Architecture, the Belmont Street Lofts is a four-story mixed-use building that was completed last winter and now possesses a beauty that is almost preternatural. Its articulation is at once soft and hard: soft because of the material (wood) and the material’s warm color; and hard in shape—it squareness, its strict lines, its admirable indifference to curves and bulging. The material is natural and its shape is unnatural. This is a great example of what the dialectically minded call “differentiated unity.”


The local architect Jerry Garcia is very good at finding correspondences and matches in architectural phenomena, and so it’s in imitation of his gift that I now point out the similarities between Belmont Street Lofts and the older, southern half of Seattle’s Japanese Congregation Church on 17th and Main.

18f8d6c1b878 2.jpg The harshness of this building, however, has been worn out, it seems, by the ages. It is now just warm and wood-rich.

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Amazing what a few trees and assorted greenery can do for a building.

I dunno, I'm suspicious of those BULGES.

those are both god-awful ugly like they came out of a 1970's prefab nightmare

man, those are really dark pictures.

take pics during the sunlight, will you?

ye gods, Charles. It's as if you took pictures of the ugliest apartment buildings around and proclaimed them good. This is a breed of architecture that I hope never comes back into fashion. It's like bad LQA Worlds Fair apartment a-go-go.

Having spent a good portion of time in Portland, on the east side I have to say that that building is awesome. The picture doesn't do it justice. Move 200ft to the right and it looks much better.

The lower picture is not so great. The building in the picture is even worse.

I like that stuff.

I like the Portland building. Very sleek. The other one...not so much.

What strikes me most about the Portland picture is how well the building matches the old Clark Griswald station wagon in the foreground. This lends creadence to Woody's comment about the "70's prefab nightmare".

Charles, pay attention to the size and construction of the windows in the Japanese Congregation Church. There appears to have been real intent to incorporate Japanese design into the exterior structure. It makes an interesting melange.

--- Jensen

Charles, I've been past the Portland building and I liked it. It has a mild case of REI-Northwest syndrome that isn't too busy like all the other buildings that fit that category. I think the "pre-fab 1970's nightmare" can make a small comeback in this clean and mildly interesting way. Just imagine all the spec housing built in the 1970's that could undergo such a transformation. I've seen it done around Seattle, hopefully there will be more.

Were these built in the 60's/70's, or are they new? They look old (and ugly imo). But that Griswald station wagon that Longball pointed out is pimpin'!!

Poetic and dreamy post Charles. Thanks for making my day. Getting more buildings like that would make our city beautiful. Certainly worth losing a few bungalo style houses for.

Wir sind froh, Sie auf unserem neu zu sehen! Wir hoffen, da? rolex replicas Sie das neue Design und die Bequemlichtkeit der Benutzung bewerten Sie.

Wir sind froh, Sie auf unserem neu zu sehen! Wir hoffen, da? rolex replicas Sie das neue Design und die Bequemlichtkeit der Benutzung bewerten Sie.

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