Reminiscent of an 1890s warehouse, Grand Belmont sits prominently at the east end of the Morrison Bridge. The building anchors the busy southeast corner of SE Grand Avenue and SE Belmont Street, while honoring the broader Central Eastside neighborhood that shapes its design.
Our design team spent a lot of time investigating this neighborhood, mining its recurring architectural patterns and materialityâ€”the brickwork, in particularâ€”to understand what historic elements Grand Belmont could emulate, and how.
Brick is the clearest expression of this shared design language, but Grand Belmontâ€™s brickwork isnâ€™t the whole story. Exposed concrete, corner quoining, inset window groupings, painted metal canopies, and tongue-and-groove wood from native species on the under-side of these canopies further connect Grand Belmont to the neighborhoodâ€™s industrial heritage and create the feeling of shared history. It is high praise when people mistake our modern building in a historic district for a renovation.
At a larger scale, we designed Grand Belmontâ€™s sections and elevations to respond to each adjacent building. Its midsection aligns with the U.S. Laundry Building directly south, while the next level up aligns with the roofline of the former Oriental Theater to the north. The main facade is subdivided into three bays with differentiated corner conditions. To mirror its neighbors, whose en-tries face SE Grand Avenue, Grand Belmontâ€™s central facade stands proudly offset from the rest of the building.
Even though Grand Belmont doesnâ€™t aggressively stand out, it takes clear advantage of its vibrant location. Phenomenal views of Mount Hood from the rooftop terrace compliment closer in views of the Eastsideâ€™s streetscapes and colorful rooftops; the west-facing units face the river, downtown Portland, and the West Hills. Residents live within easy walking and biking distance to shops, restaurants, and the waterfront. Right outside the front en-trance, a streetcar stop connects them to farther-off destinations.
Grand Belmontâ€™s shared amenities include parking for 72 bikes, an entertainment and event space with a full kitchen, and the aforementioned landscaped terrace with an out-door fireplace, grilling space, stormwater planters, and enough seating for both intimate and large gatherings. Functionally, one major design challenge revolved around insufficient parking space. After proposing car stackers and adjusting the buildingâ€™s structural columns accordingly, we more than doubled the available parking space.
Reserved and confident, Grand Belmont feels like itâ€™s always been right hereâ€”just below your radar and yet, once you see it for the first time, unforgettable.