The mission of the Richard L. Harris Building is to provide transitional housing for low income and special needs individuals. This project is the result of the collaborative efforts of Central City Concern, Downtown Community Housing, Portland City Council, and the Portland Development Commission. Situated on the prominent corner of West Burnside and the North Park blocks in downtown Portland, the building design is warm and inviting with a home-like, non-institutional character that expresses the unique program and a sense of “exuberant coherence.”
Residential units are placed in the wings of the L-shaped structure. The corner includes common areas and balconies overlooking the park at each floor level. The first and second floors are occupied by both the residents and the alternative health care clinic accessed by separate entrances. There are shared meeting areas on the first floor and a conference room, library and television room on the second floor.
Designed with an intended 100+ year life span, the building incorporates a highly efficient concrete frame with long span post-tensioned concrete slabs and a resulting minimal column layout. The brick clad external walls incorporate high performance “rain screen” construction with in-the-cavity insulation. The mechanical design includes naturally ventilated rooms with continuous bathroom exhaust, heat recovery systems and air-conditioned corridors and common rooms.