Indigo, the tower which until recently was known as the ZGF Tower or 12W (for it sits on the corner of SW 12th and Washington) has made a big impact on the west side of downtown. Just a few blocks from the Pearl District and Downtown proper, the 22 story building is mostly high-end residential over a few floors of commercial space. Zimmer Gunsul Frasca, the designer, has moved in to anchor the base of this beautiful slice of blue glass.

The windmill people are coming! The coolest part of the building sits on the roof. Four wind turbines are arrayed to harness the power of the breeze. I expect Captain Planet to show up any day now and approve overwhelmingly. Though the turbines will only generate one percent of the building's power (according to the website), this is an important symbolic step for the city. Nearby, plans for the new I-5 bridge over the Columbia River have included options with wind turbines mid-span, and I imagine that in time more turbines throughout the city could become a collective force large enough to make a difference. Until then these four energy pixies can spin their sweet little heads off.

Back to commenting on the building itself, I like the smooth blue glass and vertical tan strips that run up to the sky and slide off into the clouds, and I like that the decks do not protrude from the overall form. Rather, the glass seems to have been removed in long straight strips to reveal the living spaces (and decks) inside. Funny how architects like to think of some part of a building as having been removed, even though it has just been built.

Indigo sits unique in it's context, surrounded by old bricks, a tall steeple and tired parking lots, but I anticipate this side of the West End will continue to evolve in a modern way. Just a block to the south is Sky Lab, and there are already plans to for a Weave Building neighbor.

P.S. When I took these photos, the wind turbines had not yet been installed on the roof, and I had no idea they were coming! But you can see them here.