William/Kaven Proposes Bold Portland Skyscraper Development

As the city we call home, we’re particularly interested in seeing Portland, Oregon grow up to be the beautiful, innovative, and memorable place that we know it can be. Frankly, despite record growth, the city’s skyline hasn’t evolved with the rest of the community, let alone it’s west coast neighbors. It seems stuck in the stale, timid, and cookie-cutter mid-rise condo development that barely suits needs, and definitely doesn’t add much character to the town.

Thankfully, there are some movements to make the city’s skyline more dynamic, and in doing so, push the city forward. Architectural firm William/Kaven has proposed a soaring twin skyscraper project for Broadway Corridor, a new part of the city, freed up after the Pearl District Post Office complex moved. In addition to 900-foot towers connected by an enclosed botanical bridge, the 5 million square foot property would also include an underground high-speed transportation hub, with a mix of uses that includes retail, office, hospitality, and residential. It’s most likely a long shot that the city would move ahead with this project. However, we’d be thrilled if there was courage to approve it, and make a lasting mark on the city’s future. Via DesignBoom:


The proposed glass skyscrapers views from the city’s NW Pearl District.

As a city that pioneered land-use planning with the adoption of an Urban Growth Boundary in the 1970’s, it’s ability to grow out is limited. Thankfully, growing up is an option, and something we think the city would benefit from tremendously.


Soaring to 960 feet, the proposed towers are more than double the city’s 400 foot limit, meaning that ordinances would need to change for the project to move forward.


Located next to the city’s train station and Broadway Bridge, the project would breathe life into a relatively quiet part of the west side.


We know this is an issue people are polarized about, but we feel strongly that cities should have a built identity. Landmark buildings like these can become integral parts of a city’s skyline, their culture, and their personality.


We’re fans of the way this bold project pushes boundaries, and could dramatically change Portland’s built landscape.

We’ll update this story when there’s a clearer picture if groups like Prosper Portland might approve this project.


The glass towers would be linked by a botanical ‘sky bridge’ over 600 feet in the air.