© Jeremy Bittermann

USA 2017Portland Japanese Garden Cultural Village


Portland Japanese Garden’s new Cultural Village is a modest, human-scaled set of buildings arranged around a courtyard plaza, whose fourth side is the existing, untouched gardens from the 1960s. The project is a village positioned along a journey from the city to the top of the hill, a form of modern monzenmachi wherein the pilgrimage pays homage to the spirit of nature.

There are four buildings, each with its own means of merging into the dramatic slopes of the terrain, in combination with the tall vertical lines of the Pacific Northwest conifers: the Ticketing Pavilion floating above gentle stepped ponds, the Tea Cafe hovering above the ravine, and the main Village House and Garden House.

Although the architecture is deferential to the landscape, the key device is the zigzagging roof—creating deep overhangs of soft metal and lush vegetation, and a porous boundary to encourage a direct relationship with the renowned Portland rain, and its temperamental sun—in a soft, indeterminate, and flexible border.

In collaboration with Sadafumi Uchiyama (landscape design), Hacker Architects, Walker Macy.

Team Balazs Bognar Construction Hoffman Construction Company Cooperation KPFF Engineers Facility PAE Engineers Accumulation Hoffman Construction Company Exterior Sadafumi Uchiyama Landscape Architect With Walker Macy Illumination Luma Lighting Design Award Honor Award for Architecture 2020, Sustainable Future Award for Architecture 2020, Public Architecture Implemented Built 1st Prize of Eurasian Prize 2018, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Award, Structural Engineers Association of Excellence in Engineering Award: Juror’s Favorite, Metal Roofing Design Award, AIA (American Institute of Architects) Portland Honor Award, Project of the Year Award & Best Cultural/Worship Publication DETAIL 2019/04 , Shinkenchiku 2017/10 , Shinkenchiku 2017/10 , GA JAPAN 148 , Shinkenchiku 2017/09 , Nikkei Architecture 2017/08/10 Photography ©︎ Jeremy Bittermann