R&A combines two iconic buildings to create Portland's Woodlark Hotel - architecture and design

R&A combines two iconic buildings to create Portland's Woodlark Hotel



West Coast-based R&A Architecture + Design has fused two buildings on the national historic register in downtown Portland, Oregon, to create a new "house of welcome" for the city.

Built in 1912, the Woodlark Building was Portland's first official high-rise and its earliest example of reinforced concrete construction. Its neighbour, the Cornelius Hotel, was built of wood and steel four years prior, and became known as the city's "house of welcome". Their recent synthesis has created the 150-room Woodlark Hotel.

For R&A, adapting the "house of welcome" motto was a natural step, but engineering the two buildings' physical union proved to be less intuitive.

"The biggest structural challenge was seismically retrofitting two adjacent 100-plus-year-old buildings with different construction types and non-aligning floor levels," R&A co-founder and principal Christian Robert told Dezeen. Today, new sets of stairs on each floor internally bridge the two.
"We followed strict federal, state and local historical guidelines in restoring the structures, including reconstructing the rusted metal detailing on the lower portion of the Cornelius," Robert continued.
The original wood frame windows were also restored, along with extensive cleaning and repointing of the exterior brick facade.

The Woodlark Hotel's design composition points in two directions: one towards Portland's eclectic spirit ? with blue leather, brass accentin...
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