Vanport Building Portland State University

Vanport Building Portland State University, Oregon higher education facility, USA architecture design photos

Vanport Building Portland State University, Oregon

June 27, 2023

Vanport Building at Portland State University, OR

Design: SRG Partnership

Location: 4th Avenue and Montgomery Street, Portland, Oregon, USA

Vanport Building Portland State University
photograph : Lincoln Barbour

Photos by Lincoln Barbour and Dan Cronin

Vanport Building – Portland State University

With a collective commitment to enhance the city of Portland through sustainable and responsible development, four significant Portland institutions join together at the Vanport Building to share workplace resources. Complementing each other’s programs and collaborating to expand community impact under one roof allows each tenant to become greater than the sum of their parts.

Vanport Building Portland State University
photo : Lincoln Barbour

To house this diverse group of building occupants—the PSU Graduate School of Education, the OHSU|PSU School of Public Health, the PCC Dental Programs, and the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability—the Vanport Building is a seven-story, 175,000 GSF structure on a dense urban site in downtown Portland. Located at 4th Avenue and Montgomery Street and bound by public transit on all four sides, the project strategically presents outdoor spaces, landscape, and building form and expression to anticipate future potential development.

Vanport Building Portland State University
photo : Lincoln Barbour

With multiple stakeholders involved, the project embraced a deeply integrative process that encouraged efficient decision-making. Working with key stakeholders, we developed a set of common values, or Guiding Principles, that formed the basis for all project decisions. Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) tools and processes enhanced teamwork, delivered value, and inspired innovation.

Oregon higher education facility
photo : Dan Cronin

The Vanport Building’s site is unique to the City of Portland, with the curved streetcar path clipping its northeast corner. In response, the building massing curves with the streetcar line, expressing the movement of the site and recessing the first floor to create a wide and protected pedestrian-friendly path. All sidewalks and access to the high-traffic building are generous and open, fostering public walkways on all transit frontages that are safe for those on foot.

Oregon higher education facility
photo : Dan Cronin

In response to the adjacent historic apartment structure to the south, the building steps in scale at the fourth floor to thoughtfully transition to the nature and scale of these surroundings. Setting it back from the north side of the apartments creates an open and inviting courtyard between the two buildings that serves as a public amenity. To accommodate the significant grade change, a series of landscape walks, stairs, walls, benches, and planters flank the courtyard space to define its boundaries, provide scale as a wayfinding reference, and offer multiple means of access.

Oregon higher education facility
photo : Dan Cronin

The ground floor is served with retail spaces and a lobby, where a welcoming central stair ushers the public up to the second floor to arrive at classrooms and shared resources for the three educational institutions. The PSU Graduate School of Education houses several classrooms and student programs on the second floor, with the Dean and faculty located on the fourth floor. PCC’s dental programs, which includes clinical hygiene services for the underserved public, occupies the third floor. The OHSU|PSU School of Public Health is located on the fifth and sixth floors, with the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability on the top floor. All programs have a mission to serve the public and by being co-located, the new building provides opportunities for collaborative outreach.

Vanport Building Portland State University Oregon
photograph : Lincoln Barbour

Named in the memory of the historic city of Vanport, the building houses a mural and exhibition in the lobby called “The Spirit of Vanport”—painted by Portland artist Alex Chiu with exhibit components by Bryan Potter Design and Vanport Mosaic. This mural is commemorative of the historic city of Vanport, which was wiped out by a devastating flood in 1948 that took the lives of 15 people and displaced thousands more. At the time of the flood, Vanport was the second largest city in Oregon and the most racially diverse, with Black Americans comprising a third of the Vanport population as a result of discriminatory redlining laws in Portland. This touching tribute honors the victims and survivors of the tragedy and serves as an important reminder to commit to racial justice and equity.

The LEED Gold Vanport Building includes countless sustainable features. A green roof buffers rainwater and encourages biodiversity, while a large stormwater planter in the courtyard treats most water that falls on site. Solar panels on the roof offset energy costs; daylighting strategies include solar tubes and a narrow building form. A dedicated outside air system (DOAS) with radiant heating and cooling, as well as a robust building envelope, promote thermal comfort and efficiency for users.

Vanport Building Portland State University, Oregon – Building Information

SRG design team:
Laurie Canup, AIA – Principal-in-Charge
Steve Simpson, AIA – Design Principal
Scott Mooney, AIA – Project Designer
David Webb, AIA – Project Manager
Susan Gust, AIA – Project Architect
Emily Wright, IIDA – Interior Designer
Kevin Chavez, Assoc. AIA – Designer
Bjorn Clouten, AIA – Dental Programmer
Sam Stadler, AIA – Project Architect
Chris Kline – Designer
Jessica Mistretta – Interior Designer
Laurel Danielson – Interior Designer
Eric Wilson, AIA – Project Architect
David McCarthy, AIA – Construction Administration
Keasa Jones – Programmer
Trevor Lavoie – Project Architect
Jon Mehlschau – Project Architect
Dan Davis – Designer
Jim Wilson, AIA – Specifications
Zoe Sadorf – Designer
Kirill Ryadchenko – BIM Manager

Project Team:

Architecture and Interiors: SRG Partnership
Contractor: Andersen Construction
Civil Engineer: Humber Design Group
Structural Engineer: Catena Consulting Engineers with James G. Pierson, Inc.
Mechanical Engineer: PAE
Audio Visual and Information Technology: PAE
Electrical Engineer: PAE with Samata Consulting Engineers
Landscape Achitect: Mayer/Reed
Lighting: Biella Lighting
Acoustical Engineer: Listen Acoustics, Inc.
Accessibility: Studio Pacifica
Code: Code Unlimited
Building Envelope: RDH Building Science
Sustainability: Brightworks Sustainability
Geotechnical Engineer: Geotechnical Resources, Inc.
Muralist Painter: Alex Chiu
Exhibition Components: Bryan Potter Design, Vanport Mosaic

Photography: Lincoln Barbour Studio (Lincoln Barbour and Dan Cronin), Sally Painter

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Vanport Building Portland State University information / images received 270623 from SRG Partnership

Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

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Comments / photos for the Vanport Building Portland State University design by SRG Partnership page welcome