Photo of The Rodney
Photo of The Rodney
Photo of The Rodney
Photo of The Rodney
Photo of The Rodney

The Rodney

A Modern Tower in a Historic District

Set at the industrial west edge of the Pearl District, between the Willamette River and the I-405 highway, the Rodney is a mixed-use apartment building that fuses modern with industrial design. In response to community input, we designed the Rodney to fit in, particularly at the robust, ordered street-level base that reflects the neighborhood’s historic legacy of industrial architecture. But, as it gracefully rises to a slender, shimmering tower of glass, the Rodney also stands out, linking to the adjacent downtown and Pearl neighborhoods. Our design connects site contexts and scales that often aren't: one, industrial, grounded, and historical; the other, urban, vertical, and modern. Our client, Holland Partner Group, describes the Rodney as “one of the most successful in their portfolio.”

Portland, Oregon
  • 230 units
  • 16 stories
  • 271,500 sq. ft.







Architecture: Isaac Johnson

Architecture Story

Where Sidewalk Meets Sky

In the research phases of our design, we met with neighborhood associations and the Portland Design Commision, all of whom said that any successful design on this historic site must fit in with the character of the neighborhood. Given its location on the edge of the Pearl District, with its blend of sophistication and working-class history, we also discovered intriguing opportunities to meld design languages. So our design for the mixed-use Rodney does just that: harmonizing with its historical industrial neighbors while standing out as a modern residential tower. To transition as smoothly as possible from the historical ground level to the contemporary tower, our design concept revolved around a solid, warehouse-like podium at the street level. As the building rises into tall glass windows, it lightens, thins, and gradually stretches upward to form a slender profile. At 16 stories tall, the LEED Platinum Rodney tower is crowned with a 360-degree rooftop deck, where residents and their guests can look out across Portland’s lush West Hills, the downtown, the historic brick warehouses along 13th Avenue, the glistening Willamette River and Mount Hood beyond. Inside, 230 units were designed to accommodate a wide variety of demographics—from urban studios to penthouses. Directly outside, we were able to expand the building by three extra floors by designing a new public plaza on a nearby parking lot, which can be used as an outdoor courtyard.