Stark Family Housing

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Designed for Human Solutions, a Portland-based non-profit that envisions vibrant, healthy neighborhoods that all people can share, Stark Family Housing maintains the feel of a residential building while providing a maximum number of family-oriented units at SE Stark Street and 160th Street in East Portland.

Contrasting light and dark brick colors and the grouping and framing of windows within a vertical coursing pattern create visual dynamics. A reveal with depth causes the lighter panels to appear to float above the darker mass. Goldenrod painted metal accents on the ground floor along Stark brings warmth at the pedestrian scale. The massing of the building recedes along the narrower and more residential 160th Street.

The building’s location on the site of Human Solutions’ former homeless shelter is positioned close to transit on a designated Civic Corridor. The five-story building’s efficient floor plate and fully wood frame minimizes cost while accommodating 93 one, two, and three-bedroom units. Its L-shape protects an interior courtyard and provides parking for staff and some residents. Related community services, rather than retail, anchor the ground floor spaces on Stark.

A Gracious Neighborhood Face

Along Stark Street, the building sits back to allow a large right-of-way with landscaping, bike parking, steps, and a ramp, highlighted by weathered Corten steel fins.

On the interior, spacious and thoughtful amenities focus on the needs of families. A large, flexible community room with demonstration kitchen provides space for a wide range of events, classes, clubs, and workshops. A visible, oversized laundry room visually connects to an indoor/outdoor playroom to make laundry day an opportunity for parents and kids to connect with neighbors.

Universally Welcoming

Trauma-informed design principles drove the layout and visual openness of floor plans, interior color palette, variety of seating options in and exits from public spaces.

Warm wood tones and cool greys and greens transition gradually intro brighter and more playful shades of blue in the kids’ spaces.

Stark Family Housing integrates numerous sustainable design features, targets an Earth Advantage rating, and will exceed Portland Housing Bureau’s target EUI goal of 30%. The all-electric building will feature a heat pump hot water heater to further reduce energy usage. A photovoltaic array on the roof will cover household plug loads. The fully brick building skin, developed after many iterations of material mixes and patterns, was chosen for its ease of maintenance and longevity.

Client

Human Solutions

Location

Portland, OR

Completion

2023, expected

Size

93,956 sf