Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced the selection of the design team for the Riverwalk portion of the Willamette Falls Legacy Project today, ushering in the next step in the redevelopment of a significant landmark site near the country’s second largest waterfall. The team of Mayer/Reed, Snøhetta and DIALOG were chosen after an extensive national proposal process conducted this spring, and will begin work this summer on the schematic design of the Riverwalk.
When completed, the project will open Willamette Falls to the public for the first time in over 100 years.The images generated by the design team during the selection process demonstrate the thinking and approach to the site. The final design for the new Riverwalk will be the result of an extensive public engagement process. The magnetism of Willamette Falls is the genesis and spirit of place. The new design will provide an experiential glimpse of the fall’s power, one that transports visitors deep into history and highlights its ephemeral qualities.
The design team’s approach showed the falls and the complex material layers of the site as a portal to the Northwest’s collective history. The site’s strata tells the story of deep geology, dynamic hydrology, and vibrant ecology, together forming the spirit of place. It tells the story of Native Americans who first understood the site’s promise, fishing its waters and building deep tradition, as well as that of European immigrants who claimed Oregon City, carving out a grid and building settlements.
It tells the story of workers and industrialists who ground flour, drove timber, spun wool, milled paper, and generated electricity. It will tell the story of you – the public – who will help lay down the next historic layer – an experiential riverwalk, foretelling a story of renewed economy, environmental sensitivity, and historic importance. Source by Snøhetta.