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Architects: Skylab Architecture

Location: Portland, USA

Area: 1.858 m2

Year: 2019

Sideyard: Reconnecting a Leftover Space

A leftover 9,000 square-foot berm space was created when the City of Portland built the new one-way Couch Street couplet reconnecting the roadway to the Burnside Bridge.

Sideyard is a building designed for the working-class aimed at connecting to public transportation with exclusive pedestrian and bicycle access. It is positioned within the new Central Eastside community envisioned by the Burnside Bridgehead Framework plan. The building program integrates a pedestrian stair connecting down from the Burnside Bridge level to Third Avenue, akin to the original stairs that previously existed.

The wedge-shaped building features a new CLT structural system with an open ground-level commuter-oriented retail environment geared toward guests and tenants. The workspace above is wrapped in brick masonry with the building acting as an anchor for the Burnside Bridge and a gateway to the Portland eastside community.

This Central Eastside site is at the geographic heart of the City of Portland and at the edge of the daily commuter flow of automobiles, bikes and pedestrians. The development helps to strengthen the connection between the eastside community and the westside downtown urban core. Next door to the site in the neighborhood is the world-renowned Burnside Skatepark, constructed on an adjacent leftover city space under the Burnside Bridge built by and for the skate community. The building development team has additionally leased a small space under the bridge adjacent to Sideyard and the skate park for food carts. This will extend the Third Avenue ground-level retail experience into a forgotten and unused urban space with untapped creative potential.

Since 1996, Key Development has been building uncommon places, primarily in Bend, Hood River and Portland, Oregon. With every project they strive for a workable paradox: to fit into the surroundings while also standing out, creating new opportunities for residents and businesses without disrupting historic precedents.

Architects: Skylab Architecture

Location: Portland, USA

Area: 1.858 m2

Year: 2019

urbanNext (July 16, 2024) Sideyard: Reconnecting a Leftover Space. Retrieved from
Sideyard: Reconnecting a Leftover Space.” urbanNext – July 16, 2024,
urbanNext January 27, 2020 Sideyard: Reconnecting a Leftover Space., viewed July 16, 2024,<>
urbanNext – Sideyard: Reconnecting a Leftover Space. [Internet]. [Accessed July 16, 2024]. Available from:
Sideyard: Reconnecting a Leftover Space.” urbanNext – Accessed July 16, 2024.
Sideyard: Reconnecting a Leftover Space.” urbanNext [Online]. Available: [Accessed: July 16, 2024]

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