The Aurora

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Designed for Our Just Future, a Portland-based nonprofit that envisions vibrant, healthy neighborhoods that all people can share, The Aurora 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. Gold painted metal accents and weathered steel 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 Our Just Future's 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.

Family-Oriented Amenities

Spacious and thoughtful amenities focus on the needs of families, including an indoor playroom that connects to an outdoor play space.

The Aurora integrates numerous sustainable design features, targets an Earth Advantage rating, and exceeds Portland Housing Bureau’s target EUI goal of 30%. The all-electric building features a heat pump hot water heater to further reduce energy usage. A photovoltaic array on the roof covers 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.


Our Just Future


Portland, OR




93,956 sq. ft.
93 units