One of the most striking aspects of the existing site are the trees, a few of which date from the 19th century. We intend to shape the site plan around these trees.
The building profiles will also be shaped back by the trees. This is most easily accomplished using the same craftsman-style, wood-frame construction found in the adjacent historic neighborhood.
The shaping effect of the trees, and the use of pitched roof buildings, makes for a character which is urban, yet fits Eugene's residential neighborhoods. It contrasts strongly with typical urban development.
The indentations caused by the trees create plazas. These will be successful because they're surrounded by active building fronts. They also make for shorter traversals across the internal parking.
The ground floor and the level above it have narrow internal cores of parking. These hold a total of 212 automobiles. There is one large underground parking level, which holds 462 cars.
With the deep inside of the building dominated by parking, it is important to create as auto-free an environment as possible for the West End's public. After all, many of them have given up their cars or worked hard to travel to the West End without one. Towards this end, we think it is prudent to turn Broadway between Charnelton and Lincoln into a pedestrian promenade. This continues the current trend downtown: north-south streets for automobiles, Broadway for pedestrians.
The pedestrian promenade's most straight-forward gift to the West End is significant extra square footage, since the building will move into normal street space. This allows for decent workshop depth and pedestrian arcades while keeping the internal core parking intact.
This walking street will be much narrower than the rest of Broadway, although it opens up into plazas along the promenade. One of the problems with the existing mall on Broadway is it's too wide for the density of people downtown, and always looks deserted. The primary reason it looks deserted, however, is because there is no web of life across Broadway. This is something we believe the West End will fix, because of the strength of the neighborhood connections.
Web of life along Broadway
The tree-preserving plazas help to make short traversals through the structure, leading the outside activity through the building. This will improve safety around the parking lot.
To make the parking even safer, we would like genuine street life inside the structure. Towards that end, the workshops and offices, whose primary entrance is outside, will have a street front inside. This will make for easier loading and unloading for customers and delivery vehicles. We've planned for a rich masonry interior with vaults, well-lit for growing plants and maintaining a pleasant feeling.
The interior of the West End apartments will be in the style of the early 20th century craftsman bungalows so popular in Eugene: wood floors, plaster walls, thick trim, small-paned windows, alcoves, bay windows, balconies, deep porches, dormers, window seats, etc.
The exterior is also inspired by the neighboring craftsman houses.
There is a hierarchy of privacy in the design that gives West End residents the freedom to decide how public they want to be at any given moment. From the very public and friendly outskirts of the buildings, residents pass through a "tenants & guest only" roof garden to their front doors.
Within the gardens, residents have private front porches and verandas, as well as shared community space. Within the apartments deep balconies, bay windows, alcoves and dormers give people many choices regarding just how "outside" they want to be at any one time.