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I took a tour Friday searching for design ideas for our new UU church. This tour was intended to help us with our background considerations for our new building. Such things as the size of various rooms and their costs of construction. These things vary greatly with the design and the type and quality of materials being used. It is a complex process because there are so many tradeoffs which must be considered and balanced. Money is always an issue, and for me a major tradeoff is between beauty of the structure and its size. The cost goes up rapidly as the size increases, especially with quality materials, and my feeling is that I would rather have a smaller and more beautiful building to which people would be drawn by its intimacy, rather than a larger one with more capacity but frequently an empty feeling. We could build a huge cold barn to which too few would come, or a gorgeous small place to which too many would come, and which might be too crowded. That problem could be coped with by having two services, or more, and each could have a special quality. UU’s prize variety and they might find multiple services to be a very desirable thing.

Our group in front of W + K

Our group in front of W + K Advertising Agency

We visited six structures, but the Wieden + Kennedy building, at 224 NW 13th Ave, Portland, Oregon, (at 45.5247 -122.6837) was designed specifically for that world-famous advertising agency. They produced such ads as the Nike “Just Do It” series. We were permitted to enter this working office building because our architects THA had designed it and oversaw its construction. It is a strange and wonderful building which generates a feeling of creativity just being there. The structure is an art-work in itself, and it creates an ambiance of creativity. Our church building is intended to create a different feeling when inside and so it will require a different creative design mentality.  It is our job as the design committee to inform the architects what we want. It will be different from this building but they are very capable and eager to create a spectacular new home for our fellowship.

We walk into an art gallery with stuff happening.

We walk into an art gallery with stuff happening and then up the stairs to the offices.

Things happen when you are out to lunch.

But, things happen when you are out to lunch at an ad agency.

Open space in the middle of the building has many uses

A sky-lit open space in the middle of the building has many uses, cafe, theater etc.

The skylight at the core illuminates the whole building.

The skylight at the core illuminates the whole interior of the building.

Lighting from the core and from wall windows, wire rails and white walls.

Lighting from the core and from wall windows, wire rails and white walls.

The open space creates levels of offices with natural lighting

The open space creates levels of offices with natural lighting.

The feeling of the building is that of a creative community of commercial artists making things happen. It is an easy place to be happy and productive.