Station 162 Apartments
Architect: DAO Architecture LLC
Owner: Quadriplegics United Against Dependency Inc.
Location: Gresham, Oregon
Category Four: Housing Accessibility— Alan J. Rothman
Supporting the housing mission of Quadriplegics United Against Dependency (QUAD), Station 162 is the fifth project the organization has developed overall and its first since 2004. QUAD was founded in 1975 by Bud Myers, an appliance repairman who, after being injured in a diving accident, discovered that housing and support services for newly injured quadriplegics were nonexistent in and around Portland, OR. Since then, QUAD has become a leader in promoting autonomy and independence.
More than double the scale of QUAD’s previous projects, Station 162 offers housing and independent support services - if requested by tenants - for wheelchair-bound individuals in fully accessible unites as well as mobile elderly residents in its adaptable unites. In addition to the 44 total units, the project includes common spaces, a meeting room, mailroom, and lounge. Laundry and exercise rooms are available on each level.
The project fronts 162nd Avenue, a busy artery in downtown Gresham, just east of Portland. Designed with a tight budget during a period of significant cost escalation, the design team had to operate within the parameters of a tricky site. The L-shaped building encloses a southern garden court and parking that is tucked in at the rear. The open space contains a number of accessible areas, numerous gardens and planters, and boulders that were unearthed during the excavation.
Intended to serve as a national model that combines affordable, accessible housing with in-house services, the project’s accessible features are emphasized in the units. The 25 units serving those that use wheelchairs feature roll under kitchen counters, pocket doors, open closet alcoves with specialized shelving, and sturdy but pleasing finishes. The remaining units can become fully accessible with just a few modifications.