This 200x200 block is uniquely situated in the area and the city, located above the highway and at the crux of two neighborhoods with distinctly different profiles. To the east, downtown offices bustle during the day, but become quiet by night as people leave to go home. Many of those homes are located to the west, where the neighborhood profile is primarily residential. High Hill Park is designed to be flexible and available for a variety of uses, by both groups, while also taking advantage of the inherent view corridors.
The park rises to the north, creating covered space to escape the wet Portland climate. Concrete seating areas dot the greenery of the hill where small groups can meet for lunch, see a performance in the park, or simply sit and enjoy the view. At the top, an open space can accommodate more formal gatherings. It is connected to each end of the park by easily accessed stairs, as well as an elevator.
Programming for the space will engage nearby landmarks. Within half a mile or less, residents and visitors can walk to or from Providence Park, the Central City Library or the Portland Art Museum (PAM). While their close proximity makes for convenience, a more intentional connection provides vibrancy. The interior gallery and lecture space is available for and activated by a partnership with the library and PAM, acting as satellite campus for each institution to reach new audiences and directing existing users to a new venue.
At the opposite end of the park is a large plaza of flexible space. On game days this space can be home to food carts and other vendors that currently squeeze around Providence Park. In the sunny months, the plaza becomes a stage for the hillside amphitheater to host concerts, plays, and other activities. Other days, the plaza will allow for spontaneous gatherings.
Visitors will not come exclusively from nearby neighborhoods. This site is at a natural confluence of the MAX lines and bike lanes. To invite riders to utilize the park, an additional MAX stop is proposed in each direction. At the northwest corner, a covered space provides seating and refuge from the weather for train commuters and park users. A perimeter canopy invites pedestrians to cross the street, get out of the rain, and explore the park. Elevated bike lanes, level with pedestrian walkways, provide safer riding and ease of access to and through the park; a change of direction in pavers and bollards clearly demarcate pedestrian and bike areas.
To maximize the usable hours of the park, lighting will be incorporated into the covered perimeter canopy and throughout the park for occasional nighttime activities and use. In an effort to integrate (rather than ignore) the highway below and provide light into the newly covered area, light tubes cut through the structure from the park above.
Overall, the design provides an adaptable, engaging, connecting space available for a variety of purposes and users, whether they happen upon it or intentionally arrive.