Cyan/PDX Building | THA Architecture + GBD Architects

• December 13, 2010

In Portland, Oregon, the Cyan/PDX Building by THA Architecture and GBD Architects has recently opened its doors to offer urban residents a new mode of high density, sustainable living in the heart of downtown.

As a LEED Gold-certified high rise, Cyan meets a growing demand for an environmentally conscious, affordable urban lifestyle. Through strategic detailing and efficient building performance, its compact, high quality urban homes feel larger than their average size of 550 square-ft. Combined with its proximity to neighborhood amenities, a lively streetscape, community courtyard, and adjacent parks, Cyan’s advantages are attested for by its more than 80% occupancy rate.

CyanPDX Building 003 1 A ADJ2 595x472 Cyan/PDX Building | THA Architecture + GBD Architects

Cyan/PDX Building, image courtesy THA Architecture + GBD Architects, photo by Jeremy Bitterman

+ Project description

At sixteen stories and 380,000 square-feet, the prominent Cyan Building in downtown Portland offers a new mode of sustainable urban living. Designed with the belief that less can be more, most of its 364 units are compact one and two BR apartments, with many under 550 square-feet. However, strategic detailing and efficient environmental systems create a sense of spaciousness that belies their affordable cost. With convenient proximity to urban amenities and LEED Gold building performance, Cyan offers quality over quantity to those who value a minimum impact, high density urban lifestyle.

CyanPDX Building 005 595x588 Cyan/PDX Building | THA Architecture + GBD Architects

Cyan/PDX Building, image courtesy THA Architecture + GBD Architects, photo by Jeremy Bitterman

Cyan’s design reflects this priority at every scale. Its units boast oversized double casement windows and sliding partitions that create a sense of openness and allow for flexible configurations. Compact and energy efficient kitchen appliances, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow showerheads and bathroom fixtures enhance energy and water efficiency, while the use of low-VOC finishes and locally-sourced materials with high recycled content reduce Cyan’s resource footprint as much as possible.

CyanPDX Building int crner 02 595x398 Cyan/PDX Building | THA Architecture + GBD Architects

Cyan/PDX Building, image courtesy THA Architecture + GBD Architects, photo by Jeremy Bitterman

Sustainable strategies also operate at the building scale. Cyan runs on 100% electric power derived from renewable resources, and its mechanical system employs high efficiency speed chillers and fan coil units for cooling and heating needs. Coupled with high performance glazing and motion sensor lighting, this results in a 20% energy savings over buildings of similar size and function.

CyanPDX Building int crtyrd pln 01 595x395 Cyan/PDX Building | THA Architecture + GBD Architects

Cyan/PDX Building, image courtesy THA Architecture + GBD Architects, photo by Jeremy Bitterman

With its dynamic glass façade and its ground-level engagement with the streetscape, Cyan is firmly situated in its urban context. However, its adjacency to a series of parks designed by Lawrence Halprin, its lush central courtyard, and an eco-roof of native and adaptive species also offer residents a peaceful urban respite.

CyanPDX Building Walking 595x446 Cyan/PDX Building | THA Architecture + GBD Architects

Cyan/PDX Building, image courtesy THA Architecture + GBD Architects, photo by Jeremy Bitterman

Rainwater, so abundant in Portland, is captured and filtered by the eco-roof before being stored for irrigation in a 40,000-gallon, on-site cistern. Like many other carefully considered elements of Cyan, comfort and performance are synthesized in a manner that is both sensually appealing and environmentally sound. And while building performance and urban vitality will make the long-term case for Cyan’s environmental and social benefits, its current 80+% occupancy rate attests to its immediate ability to provide a much-needed form of urban dwelling.

+ Project credits / data

Project: Cyan/PDX Building
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Completed: 2009
Architect: THA Architecture Inc. + GBD Architects
Photography: Jeremy Bitterman

+ All images and drawings courtesy THA Architecture + GBD Architects | Photo by Jeremy Bitterman

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Category: Architecture, Residential

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