Do you know what my favorite thing is?
For months now, I have seen and photographed this interesting, tree covered blue building going up right beside the Morrison Bridge. I see it everytime I take the bus to downtown. I even walked right by it when we went under the bridge.
Well, there was a news story yesterday that helped answer lots of questions.
Q. Who is building it? The architect is Ben Carr.
Q. Does it have a name? The building is called The Tree Farm.
Q. What kind of trees are they? How will they be watered?
They called Strawberry Trees, though their scientific name is arbutus unedo. This kind of tree only gets to be ten feet high or so, and they are watered by individually controlled drip irrigation systems that allow for different watering needs depending on the side of the building, the floor of the building, and what the weather is like.
Q. How will the building support the trees as they get bigger? The framework of the building has been designed to support the extra 2,200 pounds that each tree is expected to weigh.
Q. Why was this building put here, in industrial Southeast Portland? This part of the city used to be factories and lumber mills. It is now warehouses and train yards, and has almost no trees at all. This building adds 56 trees, which will not only be pretty, but help clean the air and make habitats for birds. Also, when the people inside the building look out the window, they will look out over a canopy of trees instead of just freeways and rail yards.
Pretty neat, huh?