Columbia Building by Skylab

Columbia Building

The Columbia Building supports the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services. Housing workspace, a visitor reception area, and public meeting spaces, the 11,640-square-foot building not only supports the engineering department of the wastewater treatment facility but also functions as an immersive educational experience, all integrated within a sustainable landscape.

The new single-story building features seven folded cast-in-place concrete roof forms that channel stormwater through a planted roof, which drains along the berms into a visible collection system that leads to the Columbia River. The city’s Bureau of Environmental Services required that the project meet a minimum LEED Gold certification, incorporate sustainable design practices and provide a working demonstration example of stormwater infiltration.

Our solution was a new Engineering Building and campus site that includes office space, a visitor reception space and public meeting spaces, all integrated within a sustainable landscape. The project accomplished three unique objectives in one single campus site: the creation of a vibrant and efficient workspace; clean on-site stormwater filtration; and a dynamic building that stimulates conversation about the health of the region’s watershed and rivers.

The transparent north facade focuses attention towards a central and partially enclosed Commons area, as well as to the habitat that surrounds the building. The serrated curtain wall features operable air circulation vents which enables the interior spaces to be natural ventilated. Mirrored glass reflects and refracts light in the Commons, merging the building into the landscape. The building is LEED Gold certified. Source by Skylab.

  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Architect: Skylab
  • Design Director: Jeff Kovel
  • Project Architect: Brent Grubb, Susan Barnes
  • Contractor: Skanska
  • Civil Engineer: Vigil Agrimis, Inc.
  • Structural Engineer: catena Consulting Engineers
  • Landscape: Studio
  • Lighting: Biella Lighting Design
  • Branding: The Felt Hat
  • Consultants: Green Building Services
  • Partner Architect: Solarc Architecture and Engineering Inc.
  • Sculpture Artist: John Grade
  • Client: Bureau of Environmental Services
  • Area: 11,640
  • Photographs: Jeremy Bittermann, Courtesy of Skylab

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