Tofurky Trots offer alternative Thanksgiving races for vegetarians

November 22, 2019 by  
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The average American consumes about 3,000 calories at Thanksgiving dinner, so it is no wonder that Turkey Trots have caught on around the nation. Thanksgiving has now eclipsed Independence Day as the most popular day to run a race, according to Runner’s World , drawing more than one million people to over 1,000 events nationwide. It’s a fun time for walkers and runners of all ages. But as everyone knows, Thanksgiving is not a fun day for turkeys — hence, Tofurky Trots. Sponsored by the maker of the preeminent faux turkey on the market, the Tofurky Trots, a vegetarian alternative race, lag way behind the Turkey Trots in popularity. But they are already become a Thanksgiving tradition for a small group of people. In Portland, Oregon, Northwest VEG is in its sixth year of partnering with Tofurky to host a Thanksgiving race. “It’s my favorite event,” said Jaclyn Leeds, executive director of Northwest VEG . “It’s just a really fun, wholesome way to start off Thanksgiving. And it combines all of my favorite things: food and community and nature and doing something good for animals. And it’s dog -friendly.” Northwest VEG is a nonprofit dedicated to bringing awareness to the power of a plant-based, vegan lifestyle and helping support people in their transition toward making healthier, more sustainable and compassionate food choices. Founded in 2003, it is based in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. Tofurky Trot history The first recorded Thanksgiving Day race took place in 1896 in Buffalo, New York . It was an 8K with only six participants and four finishers. But the tradition took hold, eventually leading to the many Turkey Trots of today. Portland’s first Tofurky Trot in 2012 was also an informal event, with just 43 racers. Leeds participated as a trotter that year. She’d just graduated from law school, and she, a few of her classmates and Tofurky founder Seth Tibbott put the race together. “The next year, Tofurky got a little more proper about the whole thing and invited Northwest VEG to be the race organizer,” Leeds said. “So it was Tofurky’s event with Northwest VEG organizing. Now, it’s Northwest VEG’s event with Tofurky as the title sponsor.” While Tofurky Trots have caught on strongly in Portland — the large number of vegetarians and vegans plus the proximity of Tofurky’s headquarters in Hood River, Oregon probably have something to do with that — southern California has also hosted the races. Pasadena organized one in 2013, and this year, Los Angeles vegetarians will trot on November 23. Tofurky Trots in 2019 More than 600 trotters braved Portland’s late-November weather in the last two years. This year, record numbers have preregistered for the race. “This is the first year that we added a promotional turkey trot tee if they signed up by VegFest,” Leeds said, referring to an annual Northwest VEG-sponsored festival in early October. “So that inspired a lot of earlier registrations.” The collectible T-shirt angle is a little sneaky. “I want people to register before they can see the weather forecast,” Leeds said. Indeed, Thanksgiving morning can be rainy, icy and generally unpleasant in Oregon. Trotters are doing more than getting exercise. Their $35 registration fee benefits local animal sanctuaries as well as Northwest VEG. The five original beneficiaries were Wildwood Farm Sanctuary , Out to Pasture Sanctuary , Green Acres Farm Sanctuary , Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary and Sanctuary One . Northwest VEG hasn’t yet announced the beneficiaries for 2019. “This is the first year that I’ve implemented more of an application process,” Leeds said. “There are now so many sanctuaries that I need people to commit to being present at the event and tabling and being willing to promote it.” Participants can sample foods from Tofurky and Portland’s own Snackrilege . GT’s Living Foods will set up a photo booth in conjunction with its Living in Gratitude campaign. Every time somebody posts a picture on social media holding GT’s Living Foods kombucha, the company will donate 10 meals through Feeding America . The Factory Farming Awareness Coalition , an educational nonprofit committed to empowering people to save the environment, animals and their own health, is organizing this year’s Los Angeles Tofurky Trot. It will start with a pre-race yoga session, then kick off at Griffith Park Crystal Springs Picnic Area. Professional body builder and vegan Torre Washington will give a post-trot talk. The weather is much more likely to be favorable at the Los Angeles event, but fun will be had at both locations. Both trots are dog-friendly, assuming the dogs are well-behaved and leashed. Neither race is chip-timed, but the first adult and child finishers will win prizes. There will also be awards for best dog costume (in Portland) and cutest dog (in Los Angeles). Organizing your own trot Tofurky offers two ways to start your own trot, either as a sponsored cause or a self-organized event for fewer than 20 people. Tofurky will support your race by sending T-shirts and creating a race landing page. Why trot? “It’s a really fun way to start off a family holiday,” Leeds said, emphasizing that all levels of fitness are welcome. People feel good about raising money for farm sanctuaries, and they’re still home early enough to cook — and feast. + Northwest VEG Images via Northwest VEG and Teresa Bergen / Inhabitat

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Tofurky Trots offer alternative Thanksgiving races for vegetarians

Vancouver Food Tour showcases the city’s vegan side

September 30, 2019 by  
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As we sit at MeeT in Gastown eating sweet-chili cauliflower, Hannah Enkerlin tells me she thinks vegetarians are more evolved people than omnivores, more in touch with animals and environmental health. My guide on Vancouver Food Tour co-founded this vegan tour in 2017, after an explosion of new local vegan businesses. She’s excited to show off some of the best vegan food the city has to offer and to share vegan fun facts with tourists. For example, the world has entirely too many methane -producing cows headed for dinner plates and that the term “veganism” was coined in 1944 by a British gent named Donald Watson. Vancouver Food Tour’s most popular offering is the Gastown Tasting Tour. Despite the recent uptick in vegan consciousness, the company gets far fewer bookings and participants on the vegan tour. Enkerlin’s average Gastown Tasting Tour routinely gets up to 30 participants. For the vegan tour, eight’s a crowd. But the company is committed to offering it and will even conduct the tour if only one person signs up. Related: The pros and cons of going vegan Enkerlin, a long-time vegetarian , and company owner Carlos Gomes dreamed up the vegan tour together. They visited all the new vegan restaurants, thoroughly vetting menus to decide which dishes would be best to offer guests. Then, they put together a five-stop tour that adds up to more than enough for a filling lunch. First stop, MeeT in Gastown. “It’s a very, very busy restaurant, no matter what day of the week,” Enkerlin said as we found a table on a rainy September afternoon. MeeT serves burgers, bowls, fries and the ultimate Canadian comfort food, poutine (French fries covered in cheese curds and gravy). If you just wandered in off the street, you might not realize it’s a vegan place, as it looks more like a hip comfort food joint. Vancouver Food Tour pre-orders the food so that it’s ready for tour-goers when they arrive. Enkerlin told me that cauliflower is very trendy right now in Vancouver. In addition to its nutrients, it has a reputation as a cancer -fighter. Plus, when beer-battered, it’s delicious. “But MeeT has something no one else has,” she said. “Tamarind sauce.” On the tour, the appetizer comes with a small glass of beer or wine. For non-drinkers like me, you can substitute something off the menu. I opted for a ginger shrub. After MeeT, we walked about 10 minutes through Chinatown to the vegan pizza parlor called Virtuous Pie. This fast-casual restaurant has modern, industrial decor and specializes in creatively topped, single-serving pizzas. Vancouver Food Tour’s chosen pie is the ultraviolet, which has a thin crust topped with walnut arugula pesto, cashew mozzarella, dried tomatoes, kale, caramelized onions and pine nuts. Virtuous Pie opened in 2016 as the first of a new batch of non-Chinese businesses in Chinatown. Known for its pizza and homemade ice cream, Virtuous Pie has since opened shops in Portland, Victoria and Toronto. By this point in the tour, it feels like lunch is over, but there’s still one more entree before dessert. After another short walk, we arrived at Kokomo , also in Chinatown, which specializes in healthful vegan bowls and smoothies. Options include a coastal macro bowl and hemp Caesar salad. I chose the photogenic Nood Beach Bowl, with noodles tossed in tahini sauce, snap peas, pickled carrot, furikake, mint and green onion and topped with cilantro, sesame seeds and watermelon radish. Owner Katie Ruddell opened Kokomo in 2017. As we waited for my bowl, Enkerlin told me Ruddell built the serene, understated spot out of an old automotive garage. Now, it looks more like an upscale yoga studio. Diners sit on stools around an off-white boomerang table encircling huge indoor plants. Next comes the highlight of the tour, at least for dessert lovers — a visit to Umaluma . This small shop makes dairy-free gelato in everything from familiar flavors, like mint chip and dark chocolate truffle, to exotic options like black sesame, drunken cherry and lemongrass kaffir. The owners use organic ingredients whenever possible. They go the extra mile by making their own nut milks, squeezing oranges or pressing espresso, depending on what the flavor in question requires. How much vegan gelato did I eat on the food tour? I don’t want to talk about it. The tour ends at an all-vegan grocery store called Vegan Supply . Enkerlin gave me five dollars of spending money. I recognized lots of familiar products imported from the U.S., but I also discovered many Canadian brands. I asked a worker which products are local, and he just happened to be in charge of inventory. “I love to show off our stuff,” he said cheerfully, taking me on a full tour of cases and shelves. Many of the plant-based faux meats come from British Columbia , plus some prepared sauces like Golden Glop, a turmeric and cashew blend, are produced by Vancouver-based KAPOW NOW! . The tour is a fun way to get on the inside track of vegan Vancouver, and Enkerlin, vivacious, warm and well-read, makes a fascinating guide. I hope that in the future, Vancouver Food Tour gets more “evolved” visitors who choose the vegan tour over the company’s meatier and craft beer-focused offerings. + Vancouver Food Tour Photography by Hannah Enkerlin and Teresa Bergen / Inhabitat

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Architecture students build temporary music festival venue using 160 repurposed apple bins

September 11, 2019 by  
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On Friday, August 2, the Pickathon Music Festival in Happy Valley, Oregon featured a temporary performance venue designed by the Portland State University School of Architecture. The project is another in a line of “diversion design-build” concept stages, known fondly as the “Treeline Stage,” built by the school for the festival since 2014. The very first Treeline Stage was made using wooden shipping pallets. Since then it has also featured cardboard tubes, dimensional lumber and wooden trusses as building material. The 2019 repurposed stage was inspired by images of apple blossoms. The temporary venues holds a total of 160 wooden bins that were previously used to harvest apples by a Pacific Northwest fruit producer. The structure towers are 40 feet at its tallest point, allowing ample space for everything from audio equipment, a backstage area, food vendors and room for audience seating. The natural background of the stage, an area where the meadow meets the woods, only adds to the organic yet mystical ambiance of the structure. This year, the musical festival hosted 18 different bands (all of various genres) on the six stages throughout the weekend. Some of the bands included Mereba, CAAMP, Julia Jacklin, JJUUJJUU, Bonny Light Horseman, Reptaliens, and Black Belt Eagle Scout.  Each tower was made up of anywhere from 15-30 bins, strategically stacked to resemble pentagonal clusters of blossoms. The shadows cast by the apple bins during the day created a series of artistic shadows, while colored LED lights incorporated into the structure helped illuminate the stage after dark. The student-faculty team used leftover lumber from the previous year’s Treeline Stage project to create the vertical elements supporting the towers. Following the festival, the apple bins were returned to the donating company to be used for transporting and holding harvested apples for the late Summer harvest — meaning no materials went to waste. + Portland State University School of Architecture Images via PSU School of Architecture

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Architecture students build temporary music festival venue using 160 repurposed apple bins

A 1940s cottage is transformed into a solar-powered Hanok-inspired home

September 6, 2019 by  
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Portland-based collaborative design practice Woofter Architecture has recently completed the expansion and renovation of a 1940s cottage in Portland , Oregon. Redesigned to follow the design concepts of traditional Korean houses known as ‘hanoks’, the residential project — dubbed the Wilshire House — has been remade into a courtyard layout and includes a new south-facing garden space. The home has also been thoroughly modernized and outfitted with sustainable features, including rain chains and solar panels that top the roof. Spanning an area of 1,850 square feet, the Wilshire House largely maintains the majority of the existing single-story structure, while tacking on a sensitive extension that elongates the footprint of the house to the rear of the rectangular plot. While the front of the property maintains a traditional gabled appearance, new exterior cladding and roofing give the home a sleek and contemporary appearance.  Following principles of Hanok, a traditional Korean house typology that dates back to the 14th century and promotes site-specific design for both the positioning of the house and interior layout, the Wilshire House takes solar passive conditions into consideration. The best example of this can be seen in the orientation of the long and narrow addition towards the south to take advantage of natural light and warmth from the sun. Roof overhangs help deflect unwanted solar gain.  best example of this can be seen in the orientation of the long and narrow addition towards the south to take advantage of natural light and warmth from the sun. Roof overhangs help deflect unwanted solar gain.  Related: This green-roofed home for a master gardener embraces nature The architects have also dubbed the Wilshire House the “House of the Seven Skylights” for its inclusion of skylights that punctuate the new series of vaulted spaces — including bedrooms, an artist’s studio and a secret play room accessible via pull-down ladder — that flood the airy and modern interior with an abundance of natural light. Large windows and the glazed doors along the courtyard garden-facing porch also let in daylight to reduce dependence on artificial light. + Woofter Architecture Images by Pete Eckert

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Ocean cities add ‘blue’ to green engineering

March 1, 2019 by  
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As urban areas grow in population and footprint, many coastal cities are creating land where there once was ocean . This so-called “reclaiming” of land is not new — in fact, civilizations have been building land on top of bodies of water dating back to the Ancient Egyptians . However, urban planners and city dwellers are increasingly looking for ways to build more sustainably without damaging ecosystems and without increasing flood risk. A new trend, called blue-green infrastructure, marries ecosystem science and green engineering to develop city plans that maximize water and land ecosystems with the dual purpose of reducing disaster and creating more livable cities. What is blue-green infrastructure? Blue-green infrastructure is physical urban planning that prioritizes water management (blue) and natural spaces like parks (green) to reduce flooding, improve quality of life and adapt to climate change . Typically, architects, engineers and urban planners will utilize landscape, street and building designs to complement natural water cycles that are historically disrupted by concrete. Examples include strategic green roofs, rain gardens and parks that are designed to address and absorb water flow issues. Why do coastal cities need this? Blue-green infrastructure can have many benefits for all cities. By designing infrastructure to accommodate the natural flow of water (and additional water based on flood predictions), cities can reduce the costs of water damage, improve the aesthetics of their districts and create an environment that is more livable for both city dwellers and nature. For example, parks can increase the health and social connectivity of neighborhoods, but also reduce heat island effect and absorb rain water that would otherwise flood streets and sewers and run off into the ocean. While all cities are at risk of polluting their watersheds, coastal cities have the additional responsibility of protecting the ocean. Related: Reimagine a resilient future with this nature-based tool Blue-green ocean cities Coastal cities, and especially those built upon reclaimed land, damage nearshore areas with pollution and sediment that smother ecosystems and disrupt natural connectivity between habitats. This means not only disrupted movement for migratory species like birds and whales, but also disrupted interactions within life cycles. For example, along tropical coasts there is an intricate relationship between coral reefs, sea grass beds and mangroves. Fish that sustain the reefs and supply commercial fisheries often use the mangroves as a nursery to lay eggs. Young fish hatch in the mangroves and move out to sea grasses to mature before migrating to live in the reef. Creating land on top of these interconnected habitats can cut off this natural pattern and negatively impact species, ecosystems and fishing industries. According to The Independent , land reclamation in Singapore has damaged approximately 40 percent of all reef flats. Reclamation and urban planning done in Singapore without consideration for reefs since the 19th century has caused some species like the porites astreoides to die off completely and cause significant biodiversity loss to the reef overall. However, green engineering, with an understanding of and respect for these ecosystems, promises significant reduction in such detrimental impacts. Related: Can the Cayman Islands save the Caribbean’s remaining coral reefs? In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a multi-year project is underway to restore this essential eco-connectivity by digging channels into the remains of a failed marina development project. This will improve the flow and quality of water and revitalize the reefs, sea grass beds and mangroves that had suffered significantly. Ecologists and green engineers: a partnership By understanding these important ecological linkages, engineers and architects can prioritize low impact development and build in ways that reduce impact or even improve conditions. Chinese urban planners, for example, have undertaken an initiative to retrofit 80 percent of all cities into “ sponge cities ,” which will absorb and reuse an ambitious 70 percent of all rain water . The coastal city of Lingang in Shanghai , for example, uses rooftop gardens, wetland parks and permeable pavements that slow down rain water and allow it to be absorbed into plants or evaporated into the atmosphere. This massive plan isn’t accessible for all cities though, and cost the struggling city of Lingang (rebranded as Nanhui New City) an investment of approximately $119 million (USD). The future is blue-green With ongoing debt and funding concerns, few cities can prioritize blue-green infrastructure, and investors are often more comfortable with what they know — highways, utilities, etc. Blue-green elements are typically considered extras, added to blueprints for visual appeal but the first to be slashed when budgets are cut. Successful examples of green infrastructure and sustainable urban planning will help build confidence internationally. Other challenges, certification mechanisms and knowledge sharing networks, such as 100 Resilient Cities , encourage and incentivize conversations not only between scientists and engineers but between municipalities and regions. These initiatives, if backed with funding, will continue to push coastal cities to design with nature, test their results and share models for a new blue-green future. Images via Shutterstock

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Atelier COLE completes eco-friendly bear sanctuary in Vietnam

March 1, 2019 by  
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Phnom Penh-based Atelier COLE recently completed an environmentally friendly bear sanctuary that not only promotes wildlife conservation but also champions affordable prefabricated design. Located in Cát Tiên National Park in the south of Vietnam , the inspiring project was in part influenced by the hard-to-reach location that made the delivery of supplies difficult and time-consuming. As a result, the architects turned to lightweight gabion wall construction that has the added benefit of reducing the Vietnam Bear Sanctuary’s environmental footprint. Created in collaboration with Cát Tiên National Park, Free the Bears and Building Trust International, the Vietnam Bear Sanctuary comprises a series of modular and easily replicable buildings that house bears rescued from the illegal wildlife trade and bear bile industry. Drawing from experience working for wildlife organizations worldwide, Atelier COLE adeptly studied the site and oriented the buildings east to west to follow passive solar principles and minimize overheating. The gabion walls — assembled from steel mesh and locally sourced stones — were stacked one meter from the roof line to allow for cross ventilation, while roof cut outs let natural light into the bear dens. “We wanted to reduce the concrete usage, and we started developing wall ideas,” David Cole, director of Atelier COLE, explained. “We knew there were some parameters; it was necessary to keep the steel mesh and concrete finish inside the bear dens, as it was easy to clean down, preventing infection and contamination. We simply took the mesh material and used it to create gabion walls with high thermal mass. The inside could be rendered and the outside could be untreated to give a natural sandy color found around the site. The mesh sheet sizes which were available led to a modular design. This essentially led to the foundation of the building blocks for the whole project. We utilized a steel frame structure to support a green roof and built the bear houses with internal courtyards to give ample space for fruit trees, providing a food source for the bears.” Related: Atelier COLE’s Bamboo Trees combats illegal Moon Bear trade in Laos The Vietnam Bear Sanctuary consists of six bear houses with forest enclosures, an education center, a hospital, quarantine and administrative buildings. Over 40 sun bears and moon bears currently live on-site. As the green roof , which will grow down the roof fascia, and the courtyard plants become lusher, the sanctuary will blend into the forest. + Atelier COLE Images by Elettra Melani via Atelier COLE

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These are the world’s top vegan cities

January 22, 2019 by  
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If traveling is a top priority for you in 2019 and you follow a vegan diet , there are some cities that are more vegan-friendly than others. Vegan website Happy Cow has compiled a list of the 10 most vegan-friendly cities in the world based on the number of fully-vegan restaurants, the number of vegan-option restaurants and their impression of overall vegan-friendliness. London At the top of the list is London, because the number of vegan restaurants in the city has exploded over the past year. It was the first city on the list to hit 100 completely vegan restaurants. A recent survey showed that more than a half million people are following the vegan diet in Great Britain. Related: Veganism on the rise, record number of sign-ups for Veganuary Berlin Because its vegan scene continues to grow, Berlin comes in at No. 2. There are now 65 vegan restaurants in the German city and 320 additional vegan options at restaurants within a 5-mile radius. New York City Many people consider the Big Apple to be the international food capital of the world, and its vegan scene is flourishing. There are now 64 vegan restaurants in NYC that range from fast food to upscale dining. Portland Veganism is a way of life in Portland , and that means the city has a wide variety of plant-based food options. You can easily find a vegan burger and a variety of vegan artisanal cheeses. There are also a number of vegan food carts and even a vegan bed and breakfast. Tel Aviv With an estimated 5 to 8 percent of the Israeli population being vegan, the country has the highest percentage of vegans in the world. The 31 vegan restaurants in Tel Aviv serve a variety of cuisines from Israel, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Some also have a Western influence. Rounding out the top 10 are Los Angeles, Warsaw, Toronto, Prague and Paris . + Happy Cow Image via 12019

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19 mayors, thousands of buildings, zero carbon emissions by 2030

August 27, 2018 by  
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A coalition formed by 19 mayors of major U.S. cities including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. has proposed a plan to ensure that all new buildings be net-zero by 2030. The mayors are part of a group of cities, known as  the C40 , dedicated to climate action. The cities’ initiative is part of a larger plan to make both old and new buildings net-zero by 2050. Related: This revolutionary sustainable community in Atlanta is still thriving 15 years after its founding Net-zero buildings are extremely efficient and powered exclusively by renewable energy sources, often found on-site. Making new buildings net-zero would therefore have a massive impact on cities’ greenhouse gas emissions. Buildings account for over half of greenhouse gas emissions within large cities; for some older cities, such as London and Paris, buildings can account for almost 70 percent. The C40 mayors are committed to lowering these figures. “Ensuring Portland’s old and new buildings achieve net zero carbon use is an essential challenge I am ready to take on,” announced Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland, Oregon, one of the cities that signed the pledge. “Portland has been a longtime global leader in environmental initiatives and I look forward to continuing to advocate and fight for ambitious environmental strategies.” Related: SOM’s net-zero Paris skyscraper will be one of the most sustainable buildings in Europe The cities will join forces with the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), the organization that set the 2030 benchmark, to achieve their emissions goals. The mayors will meet again as part of the Global Climate Action Summit  in San Francisco. California has taken a strong stand for climate action, with the goal of making all new buildings net-zero by 2020, a decade earlier than the date in the C40 pledge. Many of the cities in the C40 group have pledged to create fossil-fuel-free streets and use zero-emission buses. This latest pledge to make new buildings net-zero is yet another step in the right direction. + WorldGBC Via Curbed

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19 mayors, thousands of buildings, zero carbon emissions by 2030

Electric vehicle networks need to be open, smart, clean and equitable

June 19, 2018 by  
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A new collaborative EV charging agreement was unveiled in Portland this week.

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Metal-clad Treehouse for "no-commute lifestyles" mimics Portlands forests

February 15, 2018 by  
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With projects like LEVER Architecture’s recently completed Treehouse, it’s little wonder Portland, Ore. scores high marks for livability and sustainability. Located on the Marquam Hill campus of the Oregon Health & Science University (OSHU), Treehouse caters to those interested in a “live/work/no-commute lifestyle”. Designed for mixed use , the seven-story houses 69 apartment units as well as retail on the ground floor. Taking cues from the forest, Treehouse is wrapped in a textured metal skin that mimics the color and form of tree trunks. The facade’s consistent texture and pattern give the building a dynamic depth and appearance that changes throughout the day. “The design bridges the urban and topographical qualities of the campus by placing the building as an “in the round” object in the forest,” wrote the architects. “Instead of cutting into the hill, the building form is carved to follow the landscape. A continuous carved building skin is achieved by eliminating the expression of floor levels by incorporating all expansion joints into the custom window surrounds.” Related: Nation’s tallest timber building to rise in Portland The apartment units are clustered around a compact central core housing the stairs and elevator. Glazing can be found on all sides of the irregular octagonal building and maximize daylight into the studio and one-bedroom units. A rain garden landscape and deck on the lower level handles all stormwater runoff. + LEVER Architecture Via ArchDaily Images via LEVER Architecture

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