What sticks out the most about Block 17 is how much it doesn’t stick out—it fits right in. Wood Partners and Bora Architects created a full city–block development that advanced a quintessential Portland design with a modern luxury essence to stand out just enough without calling attention to itself. This simple, elegant, and natural design, as well as the project’s unique amenity spaces and luxury services, is why Block 17 is not only the Grand High-Rise winner this year, but also multifamily executive’s Editors’ Choice winner.
Bora Architects took inspiration for the design from a blue heron that inhabits the park adjacent to the site, using muted gray-blue tones via metal, glass, and concrete and hints of an ochre orange by way of natural wood tones and warm lighting throughout. Wood Partners also wanted to embrace nature’s inspiration with indoor–outdoor elements. At the center of the community, which comprises a 16-story high-rise and five-story low-rise, is a courtyard that’s slightly elevated from the street level. The rooftop lounge also features folding doors that open the closed-in lounge to the outdoors to expand the space.
Wood Partners is currently seeking LEED Gold certification for the project, with features such as smart drip irrigation, a green roof to manage stormwater runoff, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and reduced lighting where possible. The developer also sourced materials sustainably, with nearly 30% of the project’s total material cost coming from recycled items and nearly 15% coming from materials sourced from within 500 miles of the project.