Holst Architects’ 937 building on SW 9th between Glisan and Hoyt is nearing completion, and while it was anticipated as “bold” and “intriguing” by commenters at Brian Libby’s architecture blog when the first designs were released, I’m disappointed with the finished result. I like the shape and height. I like the red balconies, but like covering your building in puke-colored facade, a red balcony does not a bold design make.
I can see the balconies in different colored perspex. Red, blue, yellow, white and green. They’d really work to set off the bland uniformity of the windows. As it is, the red feels half-hearted, and it makes me wonder if the Stalinist feel wasn’t ironic or intended, after all.
As for the architects themselves, I have no architecture background, nor am I a planner. But I know it’s damn near impossible in Portland to convince the Kafkaesque historic landmarks commission, or the design review board, or the skull and bones club, whichever shadowy organization it is that controls who gets to build what with their money on their property in this town…that bravery is always the best policy. Every single time.