LEVER Architecture to Design New Home for Portland State University School of Art + Design | News
Portland, Oregon-based design firm LEVER Architecture has been selected to design a new space for Portland State University’s School of Art + Design. LEVER was selected from a group of 11 companies competing for the project.
The multi-award-winning company, which was recently named the Jury’s Choice winner at the 2022 Wood Design Awards for its work on Adidas’ North American headquarters, has designed a range of innovative projects that also include Meyer Memorial Trust, the Artists Repertory Theater Renovation and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. LEVER is known for its use of solid wood as a sustainable building material, its emphasis on research and its customer-centric approach to design.
“Portland State is thrilled to work with LEVER on this important new building for our campus,” said Portland State University President Stephen Percy. “The new home for the School of Art + Design will serve as a beacon for the important role our creative community plays in the Portland area, and for the arts that add so much to the daily lives of our students and employees.”
As Oregon’s largest and most diverse art school, the School of Art + Design’s RFP called for equity-focused design that embraces the ideals of creativity and social justice. . As detailed by Portland State University, the selection process included meetings with professors and art and design students who shared their hopes and needs for the new building. The importance of creating a space that values and includes students from all backgrounds and identities was emphasized.
In addition to LEVER, a team of specialist consultants will work on the project, including Portland-based landscape architecture firm PLACE and New York-based Once-Future Office, who will create signage and wayfinding, and work also to integrate art and design. in the project from the start.
The new 80,000 square foot facility will establish a central space for students and faculty who currently operate in several distinct locations on campus. It will host collaborative spaces, classrooms, workshops for sculpture, printmaking, textile arts, photography and videography, spaces for criticism, graphic design laboratories, spaces for teaching history art and offices.
The $50 million project was approved in 2021, and Portland State University is seeking an additional $27 million in public funds in 2023. That money is matched with more than $5 million in philanthropy, in which 1 $.84 million in philanthropic support has been committed to the project so far. Design work will begin this spring once the procurement process is complete, and construction is expected to begin in 2023. The building is expected to open in fall 2025.
“My experience at PSU was formative, instilling in me not only an appreciation for art, but also a genuine love for Portland,” said Chandra Robinson, director of LEVER and Portland State University alumnus. “I loved the vibrant community of students at PSU and working with today’s PSU community to create an art and design center that serves as a new model for equity in the arts and elevates the school and Portland is exactly the kind of project that motivates my work as an architect.