Located in Portland’s Central East side Industrial District, the site is in an area caught between the industrial nature of its past and the current commercial gentrification of its businesses. Although the area is not residentially zoned, there is a substantial amount of illegal loft housing filled mostly with industrial artists.
In response to the current conditions of the area’s inhabitants, the school categorizes its program into three primary groups: the Cathedral, the Field, and the Home. Each group has its own vertical circulation core but is connected by a horizontal corridor that also acts as public display space. Skin function and design is dictated by the needs of the individual space and varies from operable screens in the Home block to pixelated wall openings in the Cathedral block.
The two ground plane levels, the actual ground level and the Burnside bridge which is bolstered to twenty-two feet above, provide the public visitors and students separate entries to the building. The buildings base includes the reception desk and public display spaces as well as acting as the distribution hub to the categorized spaces of the building.
The access to the Home includes boxes that are extruded from the hallways and act as public and study spaces. Large individual studio style rooms include basic amenities and open up to the outside through pixelated transparent panels and operable translucent screens.
Internally oriented classrooms are attached to the fields space which allows the external world to be a voyeur in the design and construction process.