When we asked the Baldwin General team their thoughts about building Grant Circle in North Bend, Oregon we heard a lot of comments like these.
“Nothing is straight”
“Lots of curves”
“Nothing is really flat but it’s designed to be that way”
One could easily assume that with a name like “Grant Circle” there would be some curves, but the unique architectural design by HGE Inc. of Coos Bay seems to embody graceful shapes and avoid straight lines whenever possible.
The nearly completed Grant Circle is a testimony to North Bend’s history. A large part of that history includes the Pacific ocean and the shipbuilding industry. A 160 foot circle with a 5 foot grass median defines the outside of the circle. Then a sidewalk, curved of course and a landscape wall with a height determined by the slope of the ground. Inside the circle you will find sloping grass areas and landscaping as well as paved areas with curved benches sheltered by the wall.
Jutting into the plaza from the harbor side is the bow of a ship with the deck accessible from the sidewalk. As you might expect, the hull of the ship doesn’t have any straight lines and, by the way, the deck slopes as well. When standing on the deck, you’ll be “kept on board” by stainless steel stanchions and guy wires which continue the nautical theme.
There is another bench with a harbor view and it happens to be straight and there are flagpoles also straight. A lighting system is designed to replicate portholes.
The Baldwin crew has received quite a lot of local comments with almost all of them excited and favorable of the design and function. There was one old salt who was a bit concerned that the deck of the “ship” might give the appearance she was “hogged” but after close inspection, he determined the concrete bow to be seaworthy in design.
Future plans for the circle include the installation of a statue honoring North Bend’s founder, James Simpson. To learn more about the history of this project and of North Bend, please read North Bend’s New Grant Circle here.