Hood River Makers Market

The Maker’s Market is a proposal for a public indoor/outdoor market serving the City of Hood River as a venue for commerce, public gathering, and arts and leisure.   Sited at the gateway to Hood River’s historic downtown, the project is a hearth for the city, where people gather to buy and exchange goods made and crafted on-site by local entrepreneurs, utilizing regionally sourced resources. As a public place, the project intertwines the disparate entities of “locals” and “tourists” by fostering a space that meets the needs of both, bolstered by the powerful undercurrent of the site’s historic context and awe-inspiring backdrop of the Columbia Gorge. The formal aim of this project is tripartite: to establish a strong public space precedent for small towns throughout the Northwest; to celebrate the evolution and broad-reaching spectrum of the “Northwest Entrepreneur;” and to achieve these goals in a manner that creates meaningful, lasting jobs and economic stimulus in a town fighting the double-edged sword of a “tourist based-economy.”

The generative idea of the scheme is to take the site’s greatest asset – the view of the Columbia Gorge – and embrace it by unwrapping the building into perpendicular “arms” that gesture outward. The space created in between becomes the most important part of the project – an outdoor room sheltered by the arms of the building and activated by the life of the marketplace. The idea is one of defined edges that, while solid in form, exhibit a degree of spatial and visual transparency that invites the plaza to bleed in and out of the built forms, uniting the composition.