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Scenery of Kakegawa in Edo Period, Painting, Woodcut, Japanese Wood Block Print

Japanese Tradition in a Clean Energy Era

Postcard from an energy editor's Northwest jaunt

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dear reader, here is a postcard from my recent vacation transit across the Pacific Northwest.

The Portland Japanese Garden these days is not always serene – as workers go about the clackety-clack of expanding the 50-year old facilities, perched high above downtown on the city’s west side.

It has turned to Kengo Kuma, the Japanese architect designing the Main Stadium for the 2020 Olympics, as it undertakes a $33.5 million facelift that will include three new LEED certified buildings.

The project, expected to be completed next spring, will include a Tea Café topped by a green roof – paved with living plants.

I asked garden spokeswoman Erica Heartquist how Kuma is navigating the vast distance between Japanese garden design traditions and the stringent requirements of LEED energy efficiency parameters.

Creatively, we both agreed.

The goal is to create what will be the most authentic Japanese garden in America, while also embracing new traditions of the emerging green energy sector, Heartquist said.


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