Portland, Ore. – The old Portland Inn City Center is currently undergoing a transformation into an upscale boutique hotel called Hotel Modera. Posh Ventures, LLC has purchased the eyesore and has begun a massive renovation of the space, choosing to embrace the mid-modern original architecture, particularly the warm, inviting elements of that design style throughout the hotel. Modera intends to provide first-class service and amenities, targeting business travelers during the week and leisure visitors on the weekend.
The five-story hotel has 174 rooms and suites and takes up nearly an entire city block between SW 5th and 6th and Columbia and Clay. It will feature an outdoor courtyard that includes a "living wall," fire pits and plenty of seating. The wall, visible from inside as well, will be planted with native vegetation in an unusual, vertical manner. It will integrate the corten steel from the fire pits as well as the vegetation from the courtyard, creating a seamless transition from the ground to the wall. This plaza courtyard will integrate the indoors with the outdoors and is intended to provide guests and Portlanders with a place to gather and unwind in downtown.
Although the majority of the structure has been kept in tact, Hotel Modera couldn't be more different from its previous lives. Holst Architecture, the hotel's Portland architecture firm, was charged with the task of creating a new motor entrance and lobby off SW Clay Street to accommodate for the condemnation of the SW 6th Street motor entrance due to the new TriMet MAX light rail lines that will run adjacent to the hotel. Because of this challenge, Holst chose to extend the lobby out of the SW Clay Street entrance and design a courtyard with the extra space caused by the condemnation.
"We were able to create a lively urban gathering spot," said Kevin Valk, project manager for Holst. "Every surface — interior and exterior — will be touched and upgraded with style. It will be the contemporary modern hotel in Portland."
While mid-modern architecture can often be thought of as cold and minimalist, there are core values in that era that reflect warmth and welcoming aspects. Hotel Modera has chosen to keep the best of both worlds by pairing a clean interior and exterior with a comfortable and inviting tone. CorsoStaicoff, the Northwest-based interior designer, created this warm environment by using brown, red and orange tones throughout the building. The design firm also made it a priority to create a positive experience for everyone including hand-picking each of the furnishings and finishes in the hotel.
"We want to provide our guests a refined boutique hotel that will give them the comfort of home while traveling," says Desmond Mollendor, general manager of Hotel Modera and a partner in Posh Ventures. "Not only will this hotel offer the highest quality products and service, but it will be unique and represent what Portland is all about: engaging design, easy access to public transportation, local artists — inside and out — and a relaxed yet welcoming atmosphere for every guest," he adds.
Construction is currently underway to add TriMet's MAX light rail system on SW 5th and 6th Avenues, giving the visitors easy access throughout Portland. Because of this construction and Oregon's Percentage for Art Program, TriMet has commissioned Michihiro Kosuge to install his artwork on the downtown transit mall. This will include three sculptures fronting the courtyard of Hotel Modera. The artwork will be created from granite that has been recycled from a fountain that previously existed along the bus mall.
Specific green features of Hotel Modera include:
- The use of the existing structure instead of tearing it down;
- Storm water filtration system in the courtyard;
- New insulated windows throughout the building;
- New and upgraded HVAC system;
- No harsh chemicals used for laundry;
- Sensors in rooms which turn off the lights and stabilize the heat or air conditioning once the guest has left;
- Doorbell and "privacy please" button, eliminating printing of door hangers;
- Minimal paper products in the room;
- Added insulation to exterior building shell;
- New reflective roofing to reduce heating island effect;
- Added landscaping while reducing parking and impervious area;
- Additional windows in public areas for increased day lighting;
- Adjacent to mass transit.
Posh Ventures, LLC is a Washington state-based limited liability company formed in 2007 to redevelop and operate Hotel Modera in Portland, Oregon. Its partners include Alan Battersby, Craig Schafer and Desmond Mollendor who have collectively acquired and repositioned 10 hotels over the last 20 years including Hotel Ändra and University Tower Hotel in Seattle, Washington.
Holst Architecture is a Portland-based firm recognized for its creative design. Since its inception in 1992, Holst has worked on numerous projects throughout the Pacific Northwest, blending its client's intentions with environmental and cultural considerations. Recent projects include the renovation of the historic Grand Central Building & Bowling Lounge, Bridgeport Brewpub & Bakery, the 937 Condominiums, Ziba World Headquarters, Vestas USA Headquarters, Pacific Northwest College of Art and the Belmont Street Lofts.
CorsoStaicoff is a full-service interior design firm in Portland, Oregon with a primary focus on hospitality design including hotels, restaurants and salons. Principals Denise Corso and James Staicoff specialize in branding thematically consistent spaces where the interior architecture, art, furnishings, graphics and collateral work together to create a unified experience. CorsoStaicoff's last three projects have won both national and local design awards.
Additional and high resolution architectural renderings are available upon request.
Kate Ottum/Coates Kokes