Portland, February 21st, 2016. Craftsmen are putting the finishing touches on Portland Japanese Garden‘s 33.5-million dollar Cultural Crossings expansion project which will open to the public on March 1st. The Garden has been closed for six months to accommodate the heaviest construction on the project. Construction will continue immediately outside the Garden’s gates until officials reveal the new Cultural Village at a Grand Reopening in Spring 2017.

The expansion includes three new LEED certified buildings and seven new garden spaces. Architects have taken into consideration efficiency and design and the Garden’s new building and landscaping were developed primarily in areas where the Garden currently has a footprint.

A key part of the expansion’s design is a 20-foot-high stone wall being built outside the Garden’s gates. Suminori Awata, a 15th-generation Japanese stonemason, is building the wall using traditional techniques and stone harvested from Central Oregon.

It will be the only castle wall of its kind in the United States. As visitors approach the Garden, this wall will rise up to meet them, transporting the imagination to another place and time.

It will be the only castle wall of its kind in the United States. As visitors approach the Garden, this wall will rise up to meet them, transporting the imagination to another place and time.

The overall expansion project includes three new LEED certified buildings and seven new garden spaces. Architects have taken into consideration efficiency and design; the Garden’s new buildings and landscaping were developed primarily in the current footprint. A new entrance and ticketing office will be located adjacent to the existing parking lot on Kingston Avenue. New garden landscaping styles will accompany visitors up the hillside along the existing path to the new Cultural Village.

With much of the design work provided pro-bono, the majority of the budget will go toward construction, trees and plants, and material costs.

With much of the design work provided pro-bono, the majority of the budget has gone toward construction, trees, plants and material costs.

Architecture and Design Plans Kengo Kuma and Associates has developed the vision and design for the expansion, providing a beautiful modern style that blends the traditions of Japanese design with the spirit of the Pacific Northwest. Sadafumi Uchiyama, current Garden Curator, has designed the new gardens and landscaping that will surround the new buildings.

Kengo Kuma and Associates developed the design for the expansion, providing a modern style that blends the traditions of Japanese design with the spirit of the Pacific Northwest. Sadafumi Uchiyama, the current Garden Curator, designed the new gardens and landscaping that will surround the new buildings.

Contributions for the project have come from donors in Oregon, around North America, and Japan. Notable gifts include: $5,000,000 from Arlene Schnitzer, $4,500,000 from Japanese Garden Trustees, $1,500,000 from the Oregon State Lottery Bonds and $1,500,000 from business leaders and philanthropists in Japan.

The plan calls for over 200 new trees and shrubs along the walking trail leading from the parking lot to the garden while removing invasive non-native species (e.g., English Ivy) from the hillside. The original five gardens will remain intact and unmodified during the expansion. A primary reason for the expansion is to protect and preserve the tranquility of the original Garden while hosting more visitors every year.

Here’s a video about the expansion project:

From The Portland Japanese Garden:
The Portland Japanese Garden is proud to offer our community an amazing garden, interesting lectures and workshops, and quality exhibitions and educational programs. We rely on contributions from the entire community to help us fulfill our mission and keep the Garden affordable for a growing number of visitors. You can help sustain the Garden by making an individual contribution, becoming a corporate member or donor, or giving an in-kind gift. If you have questions or ideas about how you might support the Garden, please call (503) 542-0281 or email Allison Rangel.

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