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by Russ Lowe

Emerging from a veritable seedbed of interesting architectural endeavors, one of Portland's latest and most compelling building projects is as much a study in anatomy as it is in design. A community-focused and environmentally conscious new development, Clinton Condominiums unites spectacular design with ergonomic construction.

The sophomore release from celebrated mixed-use developer Randy Rapaport takes its name from one of the Southeast quadrant's most beloved neighborhoods, where one can meander a one-block tract and find everything from foreign cult films to offbeat wine-bars.

Designed by Portland-based Holst Architecture, the building is clad in an already oxidized Cor-ten steel hull that grows stronger as it seasons and inlaid with a facade of air-colored glass monoliths, the structure is redolent of some hulking organic ark. The sparse interior combines black walnut, svelte steel fixtures and vast amounts of natural light for a sort of newfangled urban sanctum.

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Retail proprietors were quick to snatch up the ground-level, currently occupied by a gourmet bakery and an acclaimed family yoga studio, coincidentally positioned squarely at the heart of the building.

Residential units range from sub-1000 square foot one bed/one bath studios priced in the mid-200s, to nearly 1500 square foot two bed/two bath condos that squeak in under 500K.

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