Wow

Recapping the 2023 PIVOT Fellowship

This year’s Fellowship was unique in that it featured not one but two UO MARCH students, Josh Garhofer and Willy Benjamin. Josh and Willy each spent the summer working on research projects and gained hands-on experience working with current PIVOT project teams.

Willy’s project, “Biogenic Materials: Opportunities and Obstacles for Carbon Sequestration in the Building Envelope,” explored the viability of wood fiber, straw, and hemp as alternative options for insulation and wall systems. These biogenic materials have the ability to sequester carbon and reduce the embodied energy of the built environment, which accounts for at least 40% of global annual carbon emissions.

Driven by the climate crisis, Willy set out to explore barriers and opportunities for the implementation of these proven, yet alternative building materials. Willy investigated the materials by interviewing leading professionals all across North America including architects, builders, developers, and policy advocates. Additionally, he studied spaces currently using wood fiber, straw, and hemp as building materials and evaluated a current PIVOT project using computer modeling of biogenic materials to determine the carbon sequestration possibilities.

Willy found that there are great opportunities for products such as Hempcrete, Straw-SIPS, and wood-fiber insulation, concluding that these options are viable substitutes for their more common counterparts. Implementation may mean thicker walls, deeper windows, shorter spans, and deeper eaves, but Willy is hopeful that these building materials will become common place. He plans to continue his research while implementing biogenic materials into his own work.

To see Willy’s project, click here. 

Josh’s project, “Passive Aggressive House,” took him on a journey all around Eugene and Springfield examining the feasibility of manufactured housing for creating sustainable, affordable, and socially viable housing developments. After receiving a call to action from his HOA protesting plans to develop a mobile home park near his neighborhood, Josh was inspired to study a diverse range of issues concerning mobile home parks and manufactured housing with attention to the influence of their stigma on neighborhoods.

Josh started his project by digging into the different ownership models, policies, and types of manufactured homes. He then visited manufactured housing communities around Eugene and Springfield hoping to better understand the people and the design of these neighborhoods. Josh was amazed by the culture of the places he visited, and concluded that community building is one of the greatest strengths of this housing type.

Overall, Josh’s project worked to dispelled myths around manufactured housing communities, highlighting the importance of site locations with access to transit and amenities, and identified beneficial design patterns and strategies. He found that manufactured housing can truly be affordable housing, but Resident-Owned Cooperatives (ROCs) and non-profits must be the most common ownership models.

To see Josh’s project, click here.

The PIVOT Fellowship is a means of fostering original thought about issues outside the daily routine or obvious future trajectory of our firm’s thought process. PIVOT selects fellows based on the nature of their project proposal and other factors. It is a paid position and the term runs from June until September.

The PIVOT Fellowship is open to BARCH, BIARCH, MARCH, and MIARCH students for the summer preceding their final year of study at the University of Oregon. Students are selected following an application process that includes review of the candidates’ proposals for a project of their choice to be executed over the summer of the fellowship.

For more information or to apply for the position, click here.

News

It’s Been a Great 28 – Kari G. Turner Retiring from PIVOT Architecture

Kari G. Turner, who has infused PIVOT Architecture with true collaboration, creative design, caring mentorship, and deep thoughtfulness for 28 years, will “sparkle” in retirement.

Nicknamed “Sparkles” for her enthusiasm, sense of humor, and ability to connect with others, Kari has inspired her PIVOT colleagues and clients for nearly 30 years. Now she’s ready to find a new spark.

“Over the last three decades of working with Kari I have learned that she loves working with people almost as much as she loves 80’s pop music,” said Principal Toby Barwood. “Her ability to connect with people has allowed her to build strong teams that function well. Her work has earned the trust of one agency after another, leading to an expansion of PIVOT’s involvement in communities across the West.

“She taught me the value of focusing on the people in every project… and to sing along with Madonna,” Toby said.

Kari has spent her entire 28-year career at PIVOT Architecture. She began as an administrative assistant in 1995 while attending architecture school at the University of Oregon and was hired as a full-time designer in 1997. She received her license to practice architecture in Oregon in 2002 and became an associate at PIVOT in 2007. In 2015, Kari became a principal, leading many of PIVOT’s projects with transit agencies.

A succession plan has been developed over the last six months and Kari’s tasks have been transitioned to the other principals and PIVOT’s robust staff, ensuring that all our clients’ needs are being met. Her last day at PIVOT is April 12.

“Just like no piece of glitter is the same, Kari is a one-of-a-kind,” said Principal John Stapleton. “From her architectural chops to her sense of humor, she has mentored so many people in our firm and taught us all well – we’ll be able to ‘carry’ on,” he said.

“OK, maybe I could use a few more lessons on humor,” he said laughing. “But she’s done a great job of bringing up our staff to fill her role.”

Kari’s projects have been endowed with a sense of purpose and fun and reflect her thoughtfulness, compassion, and competence. Some of the most notable projects that she’s been involved with are Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and transit center projects throughout the west including multiple projects in Utah and Washington, TriMet’s FX—the first BRT in Portland, Keizer Transit Center, Springfield Station, and the iconic EmX—one of the nation’s first BRT systems. Additional community projects include The Eugene Family YMCA, Roseburg Public Safety Center, and multiple facilities for the City of Eugene.

“When I started my career, I had no idea how big of a role transit would play in my life and career,” Kari said. “I love the connections that transit provides for communities. I love the collaboration with other talented designers, and I love the passion of the people who work every day to make our communities welcoming places for everyone.”

Transportation has always been something close to Kari’s heart. She is a frequent bus ride, a former board member for Better Eugene-Springfield Transportation, and a regular attendee and occasional presenter at MPact Transit + Community Conference (formerly Rail~Volution).

Kari believes establishing connections with people is critical in making projects a success. She’s been an advocate for universal design, the practice of creating facilities that are accessible to all users no matter their ability.

“Kari has been a strident advocate for public transportation and accessible design and she used that passion to make gorgeous architecture that worked for everyone,” Toby said. “She’s been a joyful mentor of young designers, always willing to pass on the lessons her career has taught her.”

Kari’s not quite sure what her next steps will be, but it’s a safe bet that they’ll lead to a fair amount of backpacking trips in the wilds of Oregon with her husband Garrett. Happy hiking, Kari!

 

Project

The New Eugene Family YMCA

Thousands of people rely on the Eugene Family YMCA each day. Whether it’s for fitness, healthy living, child care, youth development, or a social meeting place, the Y really is a center of the community. Inside and out, the contemporary, 75,000-SF multi-purpose facility enables the nonprofit to grow and diversify how it serves the community in creating a brighter future.

Read more about the project.

Project

OGX BRT Makes Its Debut

The 22 platforms at 14 stations are inspired by the community’s strong historic architecture, Weber State’s cohesive campus, and the area’s unique geology. PIVOT engaged with stakeholder groups to develop three shelter concepts in a series of workshops. The “Strata” concept was selected and includes precast concrete columns that reflect the area’s stratified geology and its upheaval resulting from collision of the Great Basin and the dramatic mountains to the east.

Read more about the project.