Portland Center, Oregon State University

Once the home to one of Oregon’s most prominent department stores, the second floor of the historic Meier & Frank Building is now a hub of expanded teaching, research and community service in the Portland region by Oregon State University.

Located in the heart of downtown, OSU Portland is easily accessible by public transportation and is adjacent to, and highly visible from, Pioneer Square. The space serves as a welcoming destination for learners of all ages, OSU stakeholders and community members, and features class and meeting rooms, and offices for student and faculty use. The space is also home to the OSU Foundation’s regional staff.

SERA worked with OSU to create an open and welcoming space, taking advantage of the large historic windows to bring in natural light, and also to showcase student life and daily activities to the surrounding neighborhood. OSU hopes to use this visibility to connect with the local community and welcome prospective students in to learn about the university, their mission, and everything they can offer.

The space provides access for both traditional and non-traditional students, in various stages of their education and careers. As such, SERA introduced a rich palette of materials to broaden in a bold and sophisticated way the school’s traditional orange and black branded colors. New features within OSU Portland contrast with exposed historic and seismic structure to celebrate the history of the building and provide multi-purpose spaces that can be dressed up or down as needed for various university functions.