Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

Waterleaf Apartments

Affordable Housing in a First-Rate Neighborhood

Located in the verdant green waterfront area of Portland’s River Place neighborhood, Waterleaf Apartments is a unique project that leverages market-rate materials and available retail space in a considerate way to elevate the resident experience and fit into the surrounding neighborhood. As mid-rise market-rate housing turned affordable, Waterleaf expands the opportunities for what affordable housing can be. Our thoughtfully inclusive design provides resources for residents to live in a more sustainable, healthy way, fostering a family-centered community mentality. Waterleaf provides larger-than-usual affordable units and housing in a great market-rate neighborhood with many close transit connections. Light rail runs just outside of the complex, allowing residents to easily access the city. A quick, nearby gondola ride to the Oregon Health & Science University hospital means residents of Waterleaf who work or study at OHSU can access their jobs or education on the medical campus at any time. On top of that, many nearby locations such as the Portland State University campus and the Willamette River are bikeable, encouraging residents to be active, whether they go by land or water. Combined, these factors and community connections translate to a one-of-a-kind experience in an upscale, family-oriented neighborhood that can only be described as uniquely Waterleaf.

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Portland, Oregon
  • 2022 LEED Gold Certified
  • 178
  • 6 stories
  • 192,384 sq. ft.
  • Completed in 2023

Interior Story

Connections Create Community

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Designed to provide residents with a feeling of pride and dignity, Waterleaf Apartments uses authentic materials and sophisticated colors to elevate the look and feel of affordable housing. A warm interior palette paired with decorative pendant lighting throughout the lobby creates a cozy ambiance and inviting glow, night or day. Large exterior windows connect the outer bustling urban environment to the building's interiors, shaping welcoming spaces for residents to thrive in. The community room fosters social connections and features a variety of seating options with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow abundant natural light to filter into the multi-purpose space. Residents and their families can come together here not only for personal interactions, but also to visually engage with the adjacent exterior courtyard. Supporting and encouraging family activities within the safety of this community is achieved further with features such as built-in benches, landscape planters, and a central playground structure. The kitchen also responds to the different uses of residents with wood bifold windows that connect the kitchen to the common area for group cooking classes or other large community events. The individual residences feature large windows with spectacular views of the Willamette River and Mt. Hood, as well as contemporary finishes in the studio, 1, 2, and 3-bedroom units. A portion of the units include additional accessibility features, such as spacious bathrooms and open kitchens, intended to serve as supportive housing for Veterans.

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Architecture Story

Activated Architecture and Community Connections

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Architecture Photo of Waterleaf Apartments

© Shelsi Lindquist

Waterleaf Apartments are a welcome addition to Portland’s River Place neighborhood. Complete with ample outdoor amenities and tailored to families and individuals of all backgrounds, the affordable housing complex provides residents with a venue for taking the next step in life, whether it is growing a family, finding a new career, or reconnecting with active passions. A layered base with contrasting light and dark brick masonry, paired with metal panels under exterior windows, cloaks Waterleaf with an impression of movement. The unique frontage is influenced and shaped by a streetcar track that runs directly outside the building. The structure’s curved façade plays up the sense of motion coming from the streetcar track on the curved corner, making for both a pleasant visual and a unique retail entrance. Multiple design elements connect Waterleaf with its sister site, The Vera, both physically and thematically. Among these connections are the sunny, south-facing courtyard located between the two buildings. Linking the two structures and providing a community space elevated by plants, water features, and chessboard tables, the courtyard also connects to a transit station, encouraging residents to take advantage of the transit options that run right outside the two apartment complexes. Designed together, a shared color palette visually joins Waterleaf and The Vera, establishing the entire block they are stationed on as a cohesive location. The sense of place and destination shared by Waterleaf and The Vera is further emphasized by the availability of commercial and retail space on the ground floor of Waterleaf. Designed for use by both small businesses and larger offices alike, the opportunities for commerce transform Waterleaf’s vicinity from a residential block to a neighborhood connected by an encompassing sense of community.

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