Eugene’s future city hall will rely on part renovation and part new construction, which means whoever the city chooses for its design team will need to have an integrated approach to the city’s new headquarters.
“Well, I started working on this with the council 14 years ago (laughs),” said Mike Penwell, City Hall Project Manager.
So to be finally picking a design team is almost surreal for Penwell.
“It’s exciting for us to move forward and actually be picking a design team,” Penwell said.
But that selection process could be just as complex as the last 14 years. Penwell and his municipal team have seven firms from across the country to sift through and select.
“Huge interest, particularly in Eugene and Portland, but I’ve heard anecdotally interest from as far away as San Francisco, Seattle, an architectural firm from Florida inquired,” Penwell said.
From the stack submitted Thursday, they’ll choose the entire team from lead architect to landscape architect together configuring the perfect posse.
“They can look at the history. They can look at the use. They can look at the green building aspect. They can bring all these things together and integrate them,” Penwell said.
It’s the type of project Penwell says that makes designers excited.
“Even though it’s a relatively small project for a city hall, anytime you get to do a civic project that’s tied to the heart and soul of the community, that’s the kind of thing that architects just love,” Penwell said.
It’s also something that Penwell loves just as much. He says it’s been a lengthy wait but well worth it.
“It’s excitement, pressure, but I think it’s good pressure for the local architects. I think it’s the kind that they’ll thrive on and do a really good job with,” Penwell said.
From this point, Penwell says they’ll make a short list of applicants, do some interviews, and they plan to select a design team by mid-April.