Located on Portland State University’s campus at the south end of the historic South Park Blocks, this project involved the revitalization and expansion of PSU’s Peter W. Stott Center. Designed in close collaboration with Sports Architect Sink Combs Dethlefs (now Perkins + Will), the project completely transformed the existing outdated, inward-focused building, originally constructed in 1966, into a vibrant and welcoming facility that supports a wide range of functions including academics, athletics, and general student use. The centerpiece of the project is the Viking Pavilion, a multi-use arena that will host events ranging from competitions to concerts to commencements.
Project Name: Portland State University Stott Center Renovation + Viking Pavilion
Studio Name: Woofter Bolch Architecture and Perkins+Will
Project size: 142000 ft2
Completion date: 2018
Building levels: 2
Location: Portland, United States
Photography: Christian Columbres and Pete Eckert
The project encompasses areas of renovation and new construction, with the majority of new construction on the eastern, Park-facing half, including the new arena and a new exterior. This serves to shift the center of the building’s use and activity to directly engage the Park and the heart of campus. In addition to the arena, new program areas include a diverse range of student gathering and study areas, general use classrooms, and a cafe. Renovations prioritized spaces that benefit all student-athletes, including sports medicine, an academic center, and a new athletics weight room located in a repurposed natatorium.
The design creates a multi-use facility, with public lobbies, concourses, and lounges configured to be used daily by students and the entire campus community while also accommodating athletic competitions, symposia, and graduations. Unlike typical venues that sit dark between events, this facility is envisioned as both a campus and civic amenity that is always active with use.
The exterior design of the Viking Pavilion expresses the civic importance of the facility with a simple form that celebrates its unique nature as a multi-use community resource. In place of the existing blank brick walls, generous areas of glazing are carefully distributed to reveal the form of the arena within and to connect the energy and use of the building’s public spaces with the Park and campus beyond. Similarly, the site design and public spaces of the building are envisioned as a sequence of spaces that extend the space of the Park into the building and the life of the building into the Park.
The arena is designed to further promote this engagement and connection between interior and exterior spaces, with its upper seating separated from the lower by the main entry level concourse. This creates views into and across the arena from throughout the building as well as the Park and other exterior public spaces. Cladding the hovering upper volume of the arena within the building’s new main lobby is a wood wall stretching the entire length of the 200-ft-long space. Designed to evoke the hull of a Viking ship in honor of the University’s mascot, its undulating form of reclaimed is visible from the Park and campus both day and night.