Attended a Q&A session/lecture with visionary Portland architect Jeff Kovel of Skylab Architecture at Rejuvenation Wednesday night. The event, part of the Architecture and Design Festival, was a benefit for the Street of Eames Fund. Jeff discussed several of his cutting edge designs, the design process, and his vision for the future of modernism.
“You can build modern with historical elements.”
Case in point: Departure Restaurant & Lounge, located on top of the historic Meier & Frank building, re-established the symmetry of the landmark building and used a form very similar to a Mansard roof that has been carved away.
My favorite part of the evening was when Jeff spoke about Flavor Paper, a Brooklyn based wallpaper screen printing studio and showroom. Manufacturing takes place on the ground floor, the showroom is located above, the owner’s penthouse is located on the top floor, and a roof with a planted meadow tops it all off.
One of the most stunning elements is the mirrored awning and ceiling that were installed so passers-by can see the printers at work.
I’m intrigued by the luminescent violet square on the sidewalk, which Jeff explained was the existing access ladder to the basement mechanical rooms. Since the storefront frames a view of the screen printing studio, Jeff designed a sidewalk panel to serve as a display for the store.
At the end of the evening, I had a one-on-one Q&A with Jeff:
Q: What’s your favorite color?
Q: What is your favorite Portland restaurant for satisfying design?
A: The bar at The Ringside.
Q: Can your modular, prefab home be used for narrow applications, such as an ADU?