Monthly Archives: April 2013

11.5 hours in Portland

train to portland cover

At 9:30 AM sharp I was on the train leaving Eugene, OR. On this day I would visit the neighboring city of Portland with the intention of spending one whole day exploring the city. Naturally, one of my first stops after walking along the river was the Portland Art Museum.

Portland Art Museum

While the museum wasn’t too interesting architecturally, I did enjoy a DELICIOUS cookie I’ve fantasized about many times since then. 

Next stop, Chinatown


Compared to other Chinatown’s I’ve visited, this one was rather small and filled mostly with empty store-fronts and urine smelling trees. However the Lan Su Chinese Garden was a lovely little haven bordered by busy streets and rowdy looking people.

japanese garden

Just as in Eugene, the city of Portland lived up to every stereotype and expectation. Portland was thriving with the unique hipster vibe I’ve been warned about so many times. At times it meant that you would get to eat a very delicious pastrami sandwich for nearly $20 and at other times it meant that everyone was riding a bike and looked like they had just completed traveling time between the 1970’s and 80’s and were sporting the memorabilia they had collected throughout their travels.

cool sign


I had originally planned on separating the Portland trip into two separate blog posts (since I have enough photos to blog about for a month), however I’ve gotten very bored with posting old pictures and am starting to forget why I liked them to begin with.

Remember, I have the memory of a goldfish.

U of O Portland

While I was in Portland I was also sure to visit the University of Oregon’s Portland campus. The iconic “White Stag” building houses a very beautiful school of architecture (among other things) that has retrofitted the existing building into a very contemporary looking work of architecture.

U of O Portland entry

There’s a lovely juxtaposition between old, exposed brick and modern steel and wood. Very cool.

U of O Portland atrium

The studio spaces themselves are very similar to those found in Eugene. They are just newer and more open and have views out to Portland rather than the Eugene campus.

U of O Portland studio

As the sun began to set I decided to cross the bridge briefly to take a look at the other side of the city. Its safe to say that I haven’t even scratched the surface when it comes to exploring Portland.

crossing the bridge

Portland was a very cool city, and the University of Oregon’s Portland campus looks very promising. I hope to get the chance to spend some time on that campus while at grad school.


In the meantime, if anybody visits Portland, would you mind sending me a Pastrami sandwich and a cookie from the art museum? 

Thanks, I’ll write you a $50 check.

Oregon photos

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The Jock-Box

John E. Jaqua Center for Student Athletes

jaqua exterior

In a rather new portion of the University of Oregon’s Eugene campus is a small glass box that looks different than all of the other buildings. While it literally just looks like a glass box, there is something… special about it.

jaqua double shell exterior

The building consists of a double shell exterior (though it seems it should be called a triple shell exterior…) that is meant to contribute to the sustainability of the project. Something along the lines of a passive heating/cooling system or a passive ventilation system. Either way, I’ve only ever heard it doesn’t function very well.

jaqua cafe

In a stark contrast, the exterior of the building is entirely made of glass while the interior is a collection of varied and expensive materials arranged in a vibrant and playful manner. It is a very colorful surprise!

jaqua entry

The building functions a student center for ATHLETES ONLY. While visitors are welcome to tour the lobby and eat at the cafe, unless you are an athlete (or know one) you are not allowed to the other floors. While it is a very fun building, there is still something very… very… special…

jaqua lobby

After researching the building, I discovered exactly what was so special about the building. A $41.7 million dollar budget. For a 37,000 square foot building, that is roughly $1,100 per square foot. (AKA very expensive). This example of architecture is the definition of a blank-check building, and the architect’s seemed to take advantage of that fact! Though it did seem extremely over the top and a bit elitist, the space is very nice and has the ability to laugh at itself (Shown here in the signs found around the lobby).

jaqua sign 2

jaqua sign 1

Though there may be some sort of controversy surrounding this project, be it architectural, social, or otherwise, it is a very nice building and I look forward to visiting it occasionally.

Now all I need to do is get good at a sport. Do you think bowling counts?

Oregon photos

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My Future Jail


The architecture school I received my undergraduate degree from was a nice place. The city was fantastic, and some of the architectural facilities were pretty nice. BUT, they are absolutely nothing compared to the Lawrence School of Architecture and Allied Arts!


This building is absolutely HUGE and blew me away at first sight. My previous school had an interesting history (or rumor) of having been the University’s old laundry facility. This was nothing like that.


This architecture school was so large that it housed several lecture halls, several floors of studio space, a cafe, and its own architectural library! For a man who buys books like they’re candy, this is a GODSEND!


The building features a beautiful courtyard that seems like a lovely place to look at the stars while you take a ten minute break from the all-nighter you are pulling. The best part is, if your studio doesn’t have a view of the rest of campus, it likely has a view similar to this:

second floor courtyard

If I wasn’t excited before, I am now!

More Oregon trip photos to come.

Oregon photos

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Lost in Eugene

Cover photo

I just got back in to Dallas after a trip to Oregon for Grad Day. Grad day itself was awesome, I even met a few fellow buffs in the land of ducks. I took TONS of photos, but here is the first batch along with my first impressions of Eugene, Oregon.


Oregon lived up to its reputation as it rained on and off throughout the duration of my trip. This wouldn’t bother me normally, but it seemed as though waterproof in Texas is not the same as waterproof in Oregon. I learned this because my “rain coat”  decided that it shouldn’t keep water out as much as it should keep/let water in…

museum interior

This small town reminded me so much of Boulder, CO that I often would pause to wonder where the mountains had gone. There was one difference that was very noticeable however:

1- Colorado is extremely dry whereas Oregon is extremely damp.

1.2- Because Colorado is so dry, everything tends to be very brown/yellow. In Oregon, there is green growing on everything!

In fact, if you stand still for too long you’ll likely find moss growing on your back.


Another thing unique to Oregon is the athletic nature of it’s inhabitants. I may well have been the most over-weight person in Oregon. EVERYONE is wearing running shoes all the time. All the girls seem to enjoy wearing yoga pants… everywhere… always…

Unlike my alma mater, the University of Oregon does not restrict the design of its buildings on campus to have a consistent “University look”. While the older buildings generally look the same, newer buildings each look completely unique. This is nice because it allows for architectural diversity. However, as a first time visitor, I found it very easy to wander off campus without knowing it…

Old Building

interior stairs

This idea of new and old designed is replicated throughout the city. You’ll see an ancient pancake shack next to a modern library next to an older building that has received a face-lift. Very fun.

modern office


I have many, MANY more photos that I’ll post as I edit them. Eugene looks like it’ll be a great place to live. The city is great and the campus is lovely, but most importantly the architecture school seems fantastic!

Now excuse me while I scrub the moss off my back.

Oregon photos

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A Buffalo in Oregon

Boulder, CO ————————–> Arlington, TX ————————–> Eugene, OR

buff that quacks

This is just a quick little post to say that someday very soon this big, hairy buff is gonna quack. 

I’ve recently been accepted to the University of Oregon and will be moving to Eugene this fall in pursuit of my Master’s degree in Architecture! I’ll be heading to Oregon this weekend for orientation and will be sure to post pictures from my trip. I’m very excited to be heading back to school and can’t wait to get started!


Design Work just thinking

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In the Shadow of the Rockies


I happened to be driving through Boulder as the sun was setting on a snow covered evening. As I was reaching to grab my sunglasses to shield my eyes from the blinding sun, I suddenly passed into darkness. It occurred to me that I had entered the shadow of the mountains that border the entire city of Boulder. So I quickly drove to the Flagstaff look-out and stopped to try and capture this growing shadow.

In the Shadow

This isn’t exactly time-lapse photography, but the idea is similar. I did not take nearly enough photos to make a fluid video. Nor did I have a tripod with me at the time. Nor did I have the will to stand out in the cold and hold the camera in position over the course of the hour and a half I spent there.

I wish I had been able to stay until the sky went black and boulder lit-up, however shortly after arriving to the look-out my bladder sent a message to my brain informing it that it was full and needed to be emptied immediately. 

Though these images might not be that interesting, when overlaid you really get a sense of the movement of the shadow and the role it plays in the coming of the night.


Hopefully next time I’ll get to try capturing this event over a much longer period of time.

Perhaps next time I’ll remember to bring an empty bottle…

Design Work colorado photos

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