PUARL - Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory

UO Portland - University of Oregon
exterior photo of new UO Portland building displaying the UO banner and the White Stag Made in Oregon sign.

The Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory, PUARL, is devoted to the study of urban architecture and urban design locally in Portland, regionally in cities of the Northwest and the Pacific Coast of the United States as well as internationally, specifically in Europe and Asia. The main purpose of PUARL is to conduct and promote activities in urban architecture research and urban design research that help to improve the quality of buildings and the city: We attempt to integrate wholeness and sustainability into the architectural and urban design process by conducting basic and applied research throughout the Portland region (and also other parts of the nation and the world) in urban morphologies, urban building typologies, and urban processes for civic groups, public agencies, professional firms, and development interests. The Portland Urban Architecture Research Lab (PUARL) is part of the architecture department and the College of Architecture and Allied Arts at the University of Oregon in Eugene and Portland.

We investigate urban morphological structures and patterns that enhance sustainability and environmental quality at the urban scale, including street networks, block and neighborhood layouts, transportation and land use systems, and urban landscapes.

We investigate building types and patterns that contribute to greater densities and decreased vehicle use with a focus on urban housing, mixed- use buildings, and other typologies located in the central city, inner city neighborhoods, and at the urban/rural boundary.

We investigate processes that enhance our understanding of the emerging structure of the city and help us create urban places in an incremental andparticipatorymannerinsupportofwholeness and urban sustainability.

We investigate landscape and ecological systems and processes, and ways in which these can inform and enhance urban structure, and function, at the building or site, neighborhood and city scale.

PUARL started as a research arm of the Portland Urban Architecture Program in 2007. With the opening of the new building facilities in the Portland Whitestag Block in 2008, the School of Architecture and Allied Arts A&AA intended to broaden and expand research activities in Portland. The PUARL currently provides design assistance and consulting services to community organizations and municipalities in Portland and the region. Projects include the Portland Urban Architecture Atlas, and the two successfully concluded Tigard Center and Corridor urban design research projects. PUARL includes Portland architecture faculty as well as faculty members from Eugene and outside researchers including Dr. Hajo Neis (director), Howard Davis, Jim Pettinari, Don Genasci, Gabriel Brown, Christine Theodoropoulos, Frances Bronet (dean), Lloyd Lindley, and others. Every two years PUARL conducts an International Conference that focuses on issues of wholeness and sustainability in cities and urban buildings. For the last two conferences we focused on city and urban development and on new developments in the overall Pattern Language Approach.

Dr. Hajo Neis, Associate Professor, Director of PUARL

Christopher Alexander
Sara Ishikawa
Murray Silverstein
Max Jacobson
Ingrid King