Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Songbird

A New Song for North Portland

Designed to bring diverse communities displaced by gentrification back into Eliot , a once-predominantly Black neighborhood in Northeast Portland, the Songbird Apartments provides more accessible housing to people who urgently need it. This ground-up community along North Williams Avenue serves very low- to low-income families, giving priority to longtime and displaced prior residents of North and Northeast Portland. Funded by the Portland Housing Bureau, the five-story apartment building includes 40 units for Section 8 residents and 61 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, as well as a learning kitchen, large event space, and outdoor seating areas. BRIDGE worked closely with community leaders and members to determine how Songbird could best serve them, and their feedback informed everything from our color palette to how we programmed outdoor spaces. Meant for people who wouldn't otherwise be able to live here who have been priced out of the neighborhood and, built to market-rate quality, Songbird fits in with the Eliot neighborhood—and makes it better.

...
Portland, Oregon
COMPLETED IN 2019
  • 61
  • 5 stories
  • 72,455 sq. ft.
MARKET

Housing

DISCIPLINES

Architecture , Interiors

PROJECT TYPE

Mid-Rise , Affordable Housing

PROJECT CONTACT

Architecture: Isaac Johnson

Interiors: Leah Wheary

housing@ankrommoisan.com


Architecture Story

Community Connection

Architecture Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Architecture Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Architecture Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Architecture Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Architecture Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Architecture Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Since our team’s main goal for Songbird Apartments was growing a community, we set back Songbird’s footprint and overall scale, designing the form to step down and meet the existing neighborhood without feeling out of place. Vibrant neighborhoods rely on areas for people to gather and socialize. Ground-floor residences have individual stoops, small seating areas, and exterior front doors. The community room faces the lively North Williams Avenue, with its busy bike corridor and pedestrian life, connecting residents to the neighborhood. A horseshoe-shaped landscaped courtyard parallels Williams, drawing people to a common outdoor barbecue area—just the right amount of visibility and privacy. Opportunities to meet, to catch up with friends and family, are everywhere. Beneath the community room’s windows, people can relax together on benches. Centrally placed elevators, the laundry room, and close-by seating areas encourage chance encounters while helping residents keep an eye on the playground. And to bolster Songbird’s strong relationship between interior and exterior space, we placed the communal kitchen near the outdoor barbecue area. We want people to know they’re connected. We also want them to feel safe. Songbird’s two entry points—one via the parking area and the main lobby off North Williams Avenue—maintain clear visual connections. Songbird’s signature exterior detail, a wood-tone installation, expresses the homey, welcoming feel that Eliot’s residents identified as essential during BRIDGE’s community outreach meetings; pre-finished lap siding expresses this sense of relaxed intimacy even further. Indoors, generously sized windows bring ample daylight into residents’ living areas. Because people want homes that are private and quiet, we took special care choosing Songbird’s interior framing and acoustic details. All these intentional details aim at one outcome: Bringing attainable, beautiful housing to people who need it most.

...

Interior Story

Inspired by Rhythm and Jazz

Architecture Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Architecture Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Architecture Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Architecture Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Architecture Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

Architecture Photo of Songbird

Ⓒ Cheryl McIntosh Photography

As its name implies, Songbird’s interior design is inspired by the musical rhythm and vibrancy of jazz. We asked local artists to create work that brings these concepts to life. We also asked the community, through a survey, to share what design elements they wanted. Thanks to their feedback, we developed a palette of bright colors that create rhythm and jooyful energy in Songbird’s community spaces. We used color as wayfinding, too, with three accent colors helping visitors orient themselves throughout. A wood-slat ceiling with playful color accents brings a familiar warmth of material and is a vibrant element within the lobby and community room spaces, welcoming visitors and residents. In Songbird’s elevator lobbies, we referenced this wood again, this time as a wall feature that frames the wayfinding accent color on each floor. To spark active togetherness among everyone working and living here, the community room directly connects to the common outdoor space, bringing flow and circulation to these spaces. And yet this room is designed for more than just socializing. The community service office, whose staff members help residents find jobs, coach life skills, and offer similar support, operates directly from the community room. Like people everywhere, Songbird’s residents deserve to be uplifted and feel comfort in their home. Along with access to affordable, attainable housing, this community brings quality materials and design elements that express pride and love of place at Songbird.

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