At one of the most trafficked corners in Portland – the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Couch, just past the Burnside bridgehead – sits a three-story, wood-framed structure with a brick exterior. The building has anchored this spot for more than 100 years, but only recently has it become a destination. With much fanfare, the KEX hotel opened here in November 2019, offering a unique experience that was many years in the making.
Hennebery Eddy designed the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of this historic building, which formerly housed The Vivian apartments, into a hostel with a ground-floor gastropub for the Icelandic brand KEX and local restaurant group ChefStable. Guest rooms on the second and third floors offer a variety of private and shared accommodations, while the open ground floor hosts casual dining and a constant stream of musical acts — a key focus of the KEX model. The hostel also features a courtyard with exterior seating and a stunning red neon sign, a rooftop bar and a community gathering room – Gym & Tonic – and conveniences for travelers like a sauna, shared kitchen and laundry rooms, and bike storage.