Jean Vollum Drawing, Painting, and Photography Building

Oregon College of Art and Craft

Portland, OR  USA

Client: Oregon College of Art and Craft

Scope: Studios, digital lab, expandable classrooms accommodate up to 200 students; separate pavilion with studios for thesis students

The Oregon College of Art and Craft hired Charles Rose Architects as it embarked on a major expansion of its campus in the West Hills of Portland, notable for its wood buildings designed by architect John Storrs. The LEED Gold buildings we created not only align with the college’s mission of being a premier laboratory of modern craft but its commitment to sustainability. We considered several questions as we developed our design: How might we interweave a new building—which required more than 16,000 sf of studio space—into the hillside campus and the vernacular buildings made in Storrs’ Northwest regional style? And how could we model and modulate sunlight so that the studio spaces felt alive and inspirational? Our inquiries led us to create two structures: a main building with upper-level drawing and painting studios and photography on the lower level; and a separate “thesis” pavilion with studios for graduate students. By making two distinct buildings, we opened views to Oregon’s coastal range and created a prominent place in the design for the landscape, which flows easily between the structures and suggests a natural gathering place. The forms of the coastal mountains are echoed in the roof plane, which moves dynamically across the building and creates an expressive, sculptural set of openings that allow in abundant northern light. Outside, a wide roof overhang offers protection for the pathways on rainy days.

Materials: Western red cedar; aluminum windows; sand-blasted concrete; polished concrete floors; board-formed concrete; acoustical plaster; homasote; fabric wrap homasote; zinc; mahogany; beech; blackened steel; pea stone; COR-TEN steel

American Institute of Architects New England, Honor Award for Design Excellence
Boston Society of Architects, Design Award

Owner’s Representative: E & M Constructors, LLC
General Contractor: Robert Gray Partners, Inc.
Landscape Architect: Studio (Current);  Murase Associates (Former)
Structural & Civil Engineers: KPFF Consulting Engineers
Geotechnical Engineer: Kleinfelder
Code Consultant: Evergreen Engineering

Photographer: John Edward Linden Photography

Download Architectural Drawings PDF