If you’ve ever had friends or family visit, you’ve likely been asked: “When are we going to the Japanese Garden?” A Portland staple, over 300,000 visitors enjoy it every year. The catch is that the garden is only 5.5 acres and it tranquility is tough when tourists are stumbling over each other trying to see the waterfall.
The solution is simple: make it bigger. According to their website, the welcome gate moves down by the parking lot and an admissions building is added. At the current gate location, 3 new LEED certified buildings will house gardeners, a cultural education center, an information kiosk, a café, and a few small gardens.
The project has been nearly ten years in the making. Fundraising was slowed by the recession, and neighbors (unsuccessfully) appealed to LUBA because a footpath to Washington Park’s Wildwood trail will be blocked.
The expansion is designed by Japanese firm Kengo Kuma & Associates, in collaboration with the garden’s curator and Portland firms THA Architecture and Walker Macy. Hoffman Construction begins in late August and expects to finish in the spring of 2017. The garden will be closed from September 8, 2015 to March 1, 2016, when the major upheaval will occur.
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