Museum expansion and renovation project design evolves

The Rothko Pavilion and related renovation campaign continues to develop with the latest design direction to be presented at a joint meeting of the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission and the Design Commission in August. The Museum has spent the past several months revisiting the initial 2015 concept with the staff, board, and the Museum’s Accessibility Advisory Task Force, as well as listening to a number of community members and Portland city officials.  As a result, the original design has evolved in a way that not only offers enhanced circulation, improved art and public spaces, and amenities within and around the Museum, but also one that complements the urban landscape.

Architectural drawing of the east plaza and entrance.
Current design concept for the east plaza and entrance.

The latest design concept recognizes that an open passageway and a new entry structure between the Museum’s two buildings will further integrate the Museum campus into the fabric of the neighborhood and the city.  The new design fulfills the Museum’s vision of providing a welcoming and beautiful space to experience art for everyone that enters or passes through. The design advances the goals of expanded and enhanced art and public spaces, while increasing accessibility throughout the museum. This will be achieved by adding new elevators, restrooms, and above-grade connections between the Main and Mark Buildings, all of which further the physical and intellectual connections between the Museum’s collections and programs.

“The design will continue to be refined and articulated, but we are inspired by the latest iteration, which we believe better invites the public to engage in art and creates a campus that is assimilated more fully within our downtown neighborhood,” said Museum Director Brian Ferriso.

The design team responsible for the new concept includes Vinci Hamp, the Chicago-based firm that originated the project in 2015, and Portland-based firm Hennebery Eddy, an architecture, planning, and interior design studio with specialty focus in historic resources. Hennebery Eddy’s past projects include the Pietro Belluschi-designed The Reserve building in downtown Portland, Yellowstone National Park Youth Campus, and Oregon State’s Strand Agriculture Hall.

The Museum recently completed the project team with the announcement of Mortenson Construction, landscape architects Walker Macy in partnership with Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture, and Urban Resources, Inc. construction management. Mortenson has a deep history in the arts and culture community with its construction of hundreds of projects around the country, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Denver Art Museum, and the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis.  Walker Macy is a Portland-based landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm whose experience includes the Japanese Garden expansion, the Oregon Coast Aquarium, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, and Pioneer Courthouse Square among many others. Consulting with Walker Macy is Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture, the firm who first designed the Museum’s outdoor sculpture mall.  Urban Resources, Inc. is a Portland construction management firm with experience in cultural, civic, and higher education projects, including the Japanese Garden expansion, The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, and The Crocker Art Museum expansion in Sacramento.

Learn more about the project.