Milwaukie Way is a new pedestrian alleyway formed by an existing 1929 Spanish Colonial-style building on one side and (2) new buildings on the other side. A cafe, restaurant, salon and boutique retail shops line the lower level of the buildings and the second floors contain office spaces. Together, the new and the old, create a vibrant pedestrian alleyway reminiscent of intimate Old World streets.
The new buildings are clad in vertically ribbed black metal. A consistent pattern of 6-foot wide window and door openings were “cut” from this dark textured surface to create a ribbon-like effect. Corners are rounded to further enhance the appearance of a continuous, uninterrupted surface. This “ribbon” becomes a quiet and complimentary backdrop to the existing stucco and terracotta building.
Internally, support functions, such as bathrooms, stairs, and mechanical equipment, are grouped in a central core allowing the retail and office spaces to have exposed floor and roof structure. The exposed “ribbed” wood joist ceilings on each level give the open spaces richness and texture.
Milwaukie Way reconsiders a standard infill development through the lens of creating lively public space first. The ambition of the project was to not only graciously accommodate the requested program for the client, but to contribute an urban alley scaled for neighborhood gathering, interaction and chance meetings.