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Portland Children’s Museum


Portland Children’s Museum

2013 Third Year Fall Design Studio School of Architecture UNC Charlotte Peter Wong, Associate Professor

Š 2014 Peter Wong. All rights reserved. Publisher – LuLu. This book is set in various forms of Gill Sans. The work in this publication is made possible with support from the School of Architecture, College of Arts + Architecture at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Inquires about this publication may be directed to Peter Wong, Associate Professor at

Cover Image: Brendon Bryant. Previous Page: Bullitt Center Elevation by Miller Hull Partnership. Image this Page (right): Site Machine by David Brinn. Final Page Images: PCM Collage (author) + Class Field Trip Snapshot.

Contents Site | Precedent | Program










































Devlin Girth


Richard Schmitter Trowell


Portland Play The Portland Children’s Museum presented in this catalogue of work was completed in Fall 2013 in the Third Year Undergraduate Design Studios at the School of Architecture. The lesson objectives for the semester included: 1) the design and detailing of a wall section to mediate air, light, and people; 2) a comprehensive series of site, precedent, and program analyses to establish criteria for the museum design; 3) an abstract “site machine” to reveal the students’ first impressions of the project environs; and 4) the design of the 25,000 sq. ft. Children’s Museum addition. The focus of Third Year at the School of Architecture requires appropriate responses for buildings in their sites as well as a careful reading and interpretation of program and use.The year allows students more flexibility (in contrast to the formative years of our beginning program) for formal expression and exploration while at the same time reinforcing previous lessons in representation and composition. Parallel coursework introducing structural principles and parametric methods (Grasshopper and Revitt software skills) are also integrated as a way to question and develop the students’ design investigations. An additional feature of the pedagogy is for the students to engage first hand knowledge of the site, local environs, and culture import of the project. Hence a 5-day field study to Seattle and Portland was a part of the pedagogy to stress the real conditions of the project. Peter Wong May 2014

Portland Children’s Museum



Portland Children’s Museum



Portland Children’s Museum



Right: Greater downtown Portland site map demonstrating the 7 Bridges of Portland. Below: Rendered immediate site with road crossing under building..

Portland Children’s Museum

Top Right: North Elevation. Bottom: East Elevation.

11 Andrew Beres

MUSEUM BRIDGE Portland’s Industry Portland, Oregon is an industrial city bisected by the Willamette River. Moving goods from one side of the river caused the rapid growth of Portland into a major city in Pacific Northwest. Unique opportunities to pioneer new techniques for traversing the river led to the development of new bridge infrastructure. Portland’s steel lift bridge is the first of its kind and a major influence on this project. It is a double-deck, vertical lift bridge still functioning on a daily basis. This bridge organizes several modes of contemporary travel; automobilies, passenger and freight trains, Max Light Rail, pedestrians and cyclists. These are in addition to the many water vessels that cross between its pylons.This organization of movement in various layers became the conceptual theme for the Children’s Museum project.

Program The three main volumes for the project include public, administrative, and educational functions.The Public space consists of the new hyper and main lobbies. The administrative space holds offices and exhibit storage. The studios comprise the “bridging element” connecting both the administration with the public but also the addition with the existing building. Top: Longitudinal Section. Top Middle: Crossection. Right: Site Process Model.

Portland Children’s Museum

Left: Collage Perspective. Right: Plans and Viewpoints.

1/16” = 1’0” Structural Model

Andrew Beres


Abstract Site Machine: wood, rockite, bicycle parts.

!/32”=1’-0” Spatial Study Models

Portland Children’s Museum

Andrew Beres


Abstract Site Machine This model shown on these pages functions as an analysis of the various modes of transportation throughout the site. The sprockets represent major hubs within the site and are connected by different routes of travel. The sprockets are sized abstractly based on the adverage volume of traffic that each location must handle. Scribed into the ground are the bounding lines and important axes that interact each other within the site. Labels are also drawn into the ground surface giving a sense of the type and style of travel within the site’s boundaries. The metaphor of the bridge was discovered after the completion of this model and helped order the separate modes of travel into layers of space. This drove the design of the project and led to the cohesive and integrated parts of the design process. Section Perspective of Foucault Pendullum and Stair into existing museum.

Aligning a Distant View The diagram above indicates a view of Mt. Hoods that passes over the existing building and establishes the main axis and formal element of the new program elements. The triangular cone is generated by two elements, Mt. Hood and the new entry to the Museum. In order the strike an accurate relationship, this space (designed like a bridge) is tilted so that one rises 26 feet from the entry to capture the a of Mt. Hood to the east.

Portland Children’s Museum Top: Viewing cone for Mt. Hood. Center: Site Location in relation to existing buildings. Bottom: Site Diagram.

OVER | ABOVE | IN THE DISTANCE Expanding the Parti

Existing building

Mt. Hood reference

Primary Structural Ramp

Science and Technology Museum reference

Secondary Structural Ramp

Administration building and Hyper Lobbies

Existing building response to new elements

Transparency of existing building

Transparency of new elements

Translucency of primary ramp

Structural trace

Structural makeup on both ramps

The Portland Children’s Museum located in Washington Park presented a complext collection of existing and new program elements. A series of study diagrams were created to show how the different functional elements could be implemented to create a collection of forms for the building’s needs. The idea was to keep the additions closely related to the parti in order to ensure the project did not become overly complex. The project employs a series of ramps to connect the administration wing as well as to create borders to define the hyper lobbies. The parti maintains the original shape of the existing building while keeping a simple logic the governs the combination of all elements as a whole. The radial parti serves to create a contrast condition from the existing building to the addition. This allows the new addition to break away from the existing boundaries yet retain a dialogue between the two parts of the design.

David Brinn


Left: Main floor plan. Center: Ramp entry.

Expanding on the Interior The internal layout of the existing building is changed and regulated by the vertical structure that supports the ramp. The curve in the existing structure is not perceiveable. Hence the introduction of the a new column order facilities the reading of the curve. The new studio spaces displace existing functions which are move to the southern section of the existing building. The floor plan is made more open allowing for flexibility of temporary exhibits. The void that separates the southern section of the building is in response to the bridge ramp creating a balance of solid and void elements. All voids support exciting movement through the building. Instead of leaving space vacant the secondary ramp is inserted to enliven the occupiable spaces of the project.

Portland Children’s Museum

Left: Exterior Rendered Perspective.

Top to Bottom: Site Section, Building Section, East Elevation, Interior Rendering on the ramp.

David Brinn


Photographs of ramp model.

Extention into the Ramp The concept of the ramp an immediate reading of movement and people a they ascent to the highest point of the building. This large and massive object rises above the surface of the existing buildings roof plane. The sequence and view that culminates at

West Elevation.

South Elevation.

Building Section through Ramp.

21 David Brinn

the end of the ramp creates an exciting initial introduction to the building. The facade of the existing structure is regulated by exposed vertical structural elements. In keeping with this idea, the structure of both ramps are exposed with etched glass so that silhouettes of the occupants inside are seen. The conclusion of the ramp is the focal point of the project, hence the glazing remains clear for viewing to Mt. Hood.

East Elevation.

Site map showing the relocation of the parking and the new road leading through the park.

East Elevation.

Portland Children’s Museum Left: Horizon line study of the site helped determine the arrangement of the project. Photos were taken from the immediate site and an analysis was made of the ground conditions, foliage, sky dome, and built artifacts within the field of view. This analysis served as a language to manipulate the typical ground, horizon, and sky relationship but also alternative readings that were less typical (e.g., where buildings fall above or below the horizon line to yield different scenic effects). This project accepts the idea that there are experiences that depart from stereotypical settings and therefore violate the norm. A peeling up of the ground allows the structure to distort the site. Hence, the building’s placement in and above the ground reinforces this dialogue.

TRANSPARENT GROUND Defining the Form The goal of this project was to merge the surrounding buildings into a unified park setting. The ideas surrounding this was to help kick start a 10-year plan to make the original parking are into a landscaped park. By combining the ground and building the park begins to extend itself further into the mission of the museum, and hence would attract visitors in various weather conditions. The form of the building started from bounding lines drawn from the surrounding buildings. The entire ensemble of buildings have a greater importance in the grand scheme of the park making separate forms for directing gestures into the open green space. These new plans for the park include moving the parking to a new deck north of the project and redirecting the road around the rear of the building for the safety of visitors and to further emphasise the correlation between the natural and built environment.

Left: Site machine with original analysis, and after the building is in place to see how shadows play on the site.

Brendon Bryant


Plans Above and Below Grade.

Shaping the Space The procession starts from the exterior courtyard created by three primary elements, patrons enter through the hyper lobby spaces and make their way down a series of ramps that open to the main lobby and the cafe area. There is a separation of public and private spaces once you cross the threshold of the main lobby where the ticketing area is, once you pass through the ticketing area there is another exhibit space before you reach the children’s art gallery. Another private but permeable layer comes in the classroom form. On the west side of the project there is a separate group of spaces for the classrooms which are intended to be a hands-on lab area. These are accessable to the public allowing patrons to immerse themselves in the pedagogical nature of the museum.

Portland Children’s Museum

Circulation Diagram, Private vs. Public spaces.

Brendon Bryant


South Elevation and Section “A.”

West Elevation and Section “B.”

Making the Ground Transparent One of the major goals of the project was allow light deep into the spaces underground. This was solved using several forms of light devices that are experienced throughout the procession of the plan. The first instance of light is on the ramps leading to the underground lobby. A landing redirects you to this main lobby, at which point there is a triangular “light prism” that is embedded in the green roof above. This object acts to mark a point, leading patrons below grade at a point in which the ramp turns. The second type of light device are “light slits” that are cut into the earth on one side of each of the three main building forms. These allow for daylight to flood into the space and spil down the concrete walls of the subterranean rooms. The third, and most dramatic, is the “light snake” that extends across the main lobby to the art gallery adding another layer of transparency between the exterior and interior.This feature allows for the theatrical play of light and shadows in the lobby space as the day move through its cycle. It adds another level of sensation to the sculptural quality of the project, and allows the lobby to be more functional. It warms the space and creates a more welcoming atmosphere.This third light feature also becomes a directional piece in the scheme leading visitors down the ramp and through the spatial underground sequence.

Portland Children’s Museum

Three different light devices..

Brendon Bryant


Left: Perspective of the main lobby with a view from the graffiti exhibit looking towards cafe and ramps leading to the lower levels. Below: Detail of the inside of the light well structure.

Above: Section model showing light as it enters though the different light wells. Left: Perspective of the children’s art gallery. Example of how light penetrates the space.

Site as it relates to Portland.

Museumn as it relates to the existing building.

image site plan

Portland Children’s Museum

View from inside the bowl looking up at the reception and cafe area.

VIEW PLAY Nature and Design The theme for this project was to integrate the museum addition into the natural environment of Washington Park. The aim of the new building was to help develop this relationship between nature and the existing building. This attitude toward the new building, existing structure and site was manifest in the earlier site machine study. This study focused on the different types of views present on site and the different effects that could be enhanced by using the new building as a framing device for such views of the surroundings. The curved form of the new building plays off of the existing museum form. This curve is the inverse (or inflection) of the existing museum’s curved facade. This new form is then extruded and allowed to branch into meandering forms. The additional freyed forms lead away from the existing museum and the roadways into the forest to the west of the site, similar to the branches of a tree. With these freyed arms of the project particular views are created. The land to the north and soutn of the new building is formed in to a 1) bowl and 2) an excavation. The bowl is the exterior extension of the earth and space exhibit. The excavation is accessible only to the administration wing allowing a private space for employees of the museum.

Rebecca Devlin


Detailed Plans of Museum (main + ground floors).

The Views The extended arms of the parti create relationships between visitor and the surronding site. The shape of the physics exhibit helps influence a child’s innovative thinking. Physics displays are experienced while the building serves as background. The “cannon view” on the lower level is experience as part of the earth exhibit. In this exhibit there is restricted daylight allowing a sense of enclosure that creates a metaphor with the ground. The space exhibit is lifted from the ground for children to gain a new and elevated perspective of their surroundings. Children in the clay-making studio experience natural surrounds through the nature shape of the classroom that mimes the flexibility of clay. The irregularly placed columns create individual workspaces for the children. The tinkering studio is similar to the physics exhibit in the way the outside world observed. Finally, the form of the painting studio allows children to observe the entire south elevation of the building via its arching form. This allows children to have a better understanding of the natural world with respect to their art. Portland Children’s Museum

Programmatic diagrams.







Above: Six views present throughout the museum. Right: Model of museum, looking at the tinkering, painting, and clay-making classrooms as well as the space exhibit.

Rebecca Devlin


Proposed parametric sunshading device for south facade.

Materiality The museum’s exterior materials draw precedent from SANNA and Morphosis. The glass and concrete materials used on the exterior achieves weightlessness in contrast to the landscape. The concrete and the window mullions are white in order to represent a cohesive form. This crisp and simple manipulation of the exterior is seen dimetrically to the natural world. The idea of weightlessness is enforced in the details of the building’s construction. The windows span from floor to ceiling past the floor and ceiling planes, this detail allows for both planes to appear much thinner from the outside than they actually are. Also the structure and ceiling plane of the building are offset from the exterior; a tapered ceiling allows the plane to be slimmed further when seen from the exterior. The views from the interior to nature are also reinforced with these chosen materials and handling of the details. This can be seen in the “cannon view” where the narrow space is made of concrete, with a large aperture at the end of the form to help frame the view.Though the building is mainly clad in glass, the transparency of the glazing differs. In the case of the space exhibit, the curved sides of the form have an etched glass while the actually view of the outside is transparent. In the painting studio the view is not a linear path, but a meandering one. Materiality comes into play in order to reinforce this wandering and turning. These types of material arrangement helps support the select framing of views of the site.

South Elevation

Section of the earth exhibit and the relationship between the cannon view and the slit view.

Portland Children’s Museum Detailed section of proposed construction technique.

Rebecca Devlin


Model showing the earth exhibit.

West elevation.

Regional Map: Scale 1:1000’ Located in Portland, Oregon, the Portland Children’s Museum is just west of the city center. The building site is situated with in Washington Park alongside the Oregon Zoo and the World Forestry Center.

Portland Children’s Museum 1’:50” Scale Site Model. The site in Washington Park has six major features including the World Forestry Center, the Oregon Zoo, the Metro, the parking lot, the trees, and the existing Portland Children’s Museum.

Above: 1”:50’ Site Map. Center: 1/16” Building Plans. Right: 1/8” West Elevation.

REACHING + WANDERING Connection to the Surroundings Washington Park hosts a number of existing buildinga that must be considered in the addition design for the Children’s Museum The World Forestry Center, the Oregon Zoo, and the Portland Children’s Museum form a relatiohship that shares complementary programs making the site important. Beyond the immediate site, the forest of the park as well as distant views of Mt. Hood also become critical players in the new design. Upon completing the site analysis it was decided that the existing site circulation and the surrounding landscape required modification. By eliminating the road in front of the existing building it was possible to reintegrate it (along with the new addition) again to the site and the adjacent park buildings. The new building would bring nature back to the site through its placement and through the use of materials, and day lighting. The decision was made to place the new addition over the existing building forming a connection and freeing the ground plane. The addition sits partially on top of the existing building then reaches out over the landscape toward the green shared by all park buildings. Hovering over the landscape and touching the ground lightly with heavy timber wood structure is a reinterpetation of the Pacific NW frequent and appropriate use of lumber.

Ashley Girth


The Morgan Library Addition, in New York by Renzo Piano uses a combination of transparent and transluscent glass to enhance the light quality on the interior.

The Big Idea Arriving at Washington Park from the Metro, visitors wander to their destination, traveling through the existing parking lot and/or using the sidewalk system. By replacing the parking lot with a garden and positioning the new Portland Children’s Museum partially in this garden I created a gesture that reaches out to help encourage free circulation through the green space to the building. Upon arrival, visitors can choose to experience the outdoor exhibit spaces within the protection of shadows and columns supporting the addition. The form of the addition not only reaches toward this landscaped space but also encapsulates views of the surrounding landscape. The addition becomes part of this procession and becomes a manifestation of this wandering route. Various views of the park to and from the new structure are created. A view to the existing outdoor adventure park and a terminating view at rooftop level toward Mount Hood can be seen from the new building. These views laid out on an angle yet geometrically arranged to reinforce the interior circulation, program layout, and the overall experience. Trusses support the floor plate, which is suspended for uninterupted views at eye-level. The truss panels are glazed with translucent glass while the vision panels are transparent.

Portland Children’s Museum

Timber trusses form the main structure of the Portland Children’s Museum Addition. The timber confirms the presence of nature, the site and the building as part of the ecosystem of the region.


Ashley Girth


1/16” = 1’ Scale Model The relationship of the truss structure and interior walls can be seen. In this model the detail of the truss systems begins to define the difference between the transparent and transluscent glazing. The space created below the “floating” section of the addition and its support are shown in this model.





Left: Interior Perspective Center: 1’:1/16” Scale Model Photo Bottom: 1’:1/16” Scale Model Entry

For Children of All Ages The roof of the new building is elevated to varying heights based on the truss panel points. The tallest point of the structure is 25 feet to match the height of the existing building, a middle height of 20 feet, and the lowest point at 15 feet. The exterior walls are composed with a double truss system with a regulating truss at 7 feet.

Portland Children’s Museum

The roof varies to emulate the distant profile of the mountains and topographical changes. The program on the interior is arranged as a procession that aligns with the Reggio Learning style adopted by the Museum’s educational staff. Upon entry visitors experience the hyper lobbies, exhibit spaces, cafe and admission area. The control point to enter the rest of the facility happens midway through this structure. Visitors arrive at three studio spaces that activate the lessons of of the Reggio Learning style. Before descending into the existing museum, one is aware of the green roof offering a view of native plants and species. In the existing building is the newly organized administration, storage and mechanical parts of the program. The addition to the Portland Children’s Museum is aimed at inspiring playful inquiry, creativity, imagination, and explorative learning through hands-on experience and purposeful wandering.

Right Top: Diagram of Reggio Learning. Right Center: Exterior Perspective. Bottom Right: Northeast Elevation and Section.







Paid Exhibits


The Reggio Learning style adopted by the Portland Children’s Museum suggests learning by doing and experiencing which I employed through inspiration for the museum additions form and procession.








Paid Exhibits


Natural Exploration

utdoor Exhibits

Imagination Play Existing Building

39 Ashley Girth


Parti of shifting forms revealing the shift in the floor plates.

Portland Children’s Museum

East Elevation.

Parti of the views between the exhibit spaces.

public VIEWS BETWEEN public An Exploration of Activities The way an exhibit space is conceived significantly affects the exploration of the activities within that space. If the enclosure of that space consists mostly of floor to ceiling walls the room’s intent may be for the inhabitants to remain focused on what’s within the space. Moreover, if the enclosure remains undefined or transparent this allows for views to distract while at the same moment encouraging interaction between the interior spaces. What’s significant about this idea the way it can be applied to a building, particularly its section, in order to create interactions between interior and exterior spaces as well as more challenging social relationships within the struture. The Portland Children’s Museum exhisting exhibit spaces are separate, closed and odd-shaped spaces that create focused environments for the children. This is dimetric to the Discovery Place in Charlotte whose open plan encourages exploration and wonder due to the open planning strategy. These ideas were used in creating the addition for the Portland Children’s Museum.

Chelsea Hansen


Diagrams of the different types of views between the Creative Arts Centre at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island by Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

Shift – Split The project investigated this idea by drawing upon the Creative Arts Centre at Brown University by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. This project manupulated the section of architeture to allow views between the spaces of the split-levels part. Examples of this are shown in the upper left corner. This became the inspiration for the section for the new addition to the Portland Children’s Museum. The new building, by virtue of the topography use a similar split-level section so that an awareness could be had between the hyper lobbies of the project. To the left is the south elevation and its shared resemblance to the front façade of the Diller Scofidio + Renfro building.

Portland Children’s Museum

Front Facade of the Creative Arts Centre at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island by Diller Scofidio + Renfro..

Material Attributes The materials of the project function as a diagram on the façade, color-coding the different types of programmatic spaces inside The administration space is clad in acidetched glass. This is in response to the the function of private spaces. The interior views occur in the public spaces in contrast to the administration space which do not share this relationship. The goal is not to create a transparent building but to create views into the administration spaces that suggest the activity without highlighting the activity. There is a clue as to what lies within the space by the shadows, lights and figures.. This is expressed in the north elevation to the left. The exhibit spaces are cladded in corten steel, a material that rusts in response to the weather over time. This was chose to conceal the spaces within from exterior views on the long facades but also to represent the use of the exhibit spaces over time as children play.

Material taxonomy.

Lastly, the educational spaces are pulled into the ground and cast in concrete to represent the foundational role of education in children’s lives.

Chelsea Hansen


Spaces framing the activities

Portland Children’s Museum

Longitudinal section

Chelsea Hansen


Right: Kinetic Site Machine. Left Top + Center: Site Diagrams. Left Bottom: Site Montage.

Portland Children’s Museum

Above: Regional Site Plan, Location of Site and Neighborhoods of Portland. Right: North Elevation.

FORMALIZING PARTI + PROGRAM Learning + Play Located Southwest of downtown Portland, the Portland Children’s Musuem receives visitors from the downtown area and the surrounding suburbs. Located in Washington Park, the museum’s site also includes the World Forestry Center, Portland Zoo, and the Vietnam Memorial. Organized around a central parking lot, these buildings border the perimeter of a potential park. Embracing Portland’s love and pride for the outdoors, the existing musuem extends into a new park (former parking lot) through exterior gardens and walking trails. Hoping to create an addition to the existing building, the Children’s Museum is seeking to expand their program through new exhibits, classrooms, and administration spaces. This project seeks to support the museum’s mission of teaching children through exploration and hands-on learning. Separating the program into two distinct volumes, the new addition clarifing the program’s arrangement by aligning a dialetical parti of play and learning.

Laura Hemingway


Program + Parti Following Portland’s active and liberalmined culture, the existing building follows a specific teaching style that combines play and learning. Treated as play spaces, the exhibits focus on imagination, creativiy, and inventiveness. However, the constant renovations and changes to the existing building has created an abundance of unused space and a confusion between program spaces. Simplifying the building’s parti, the new addition separates the program into two volumes: learning and play. The learning volume, which includes the education and administration spaces, is characterized as a channel glass tube. The play volume includes the building’s public spaces such as the lobby, cafe, and public exhibits (shown in perspective).

Portland Children’s Museum

Activating the exterior space, an outdoor interactive gallery acts as the transition between the new addition and the existing building. Extending into the outdoor gallery, the classroom spaces within the learning volume open up into the interactive gardens, allowing direct access into the outdoors.

Below: Word Parti Diagram + Plans.

Laura Hemingway


Formal Gestures At the beginning of the design process formal studies were made regarding the activation of space that is produced through the movement of two forms (study models shown above). Kinetic movements utilized during this study were slipping + sliding, rotating + mirroring, and stacking. This process produced the following discovery: when an action is implemented between two spaces, a third space is produced as a reaction to the movement between the two forms. Supporting the project’s parti, this formal gesture was implemented to distinguish the two programs, play and learning. Formally, the two volumes, representing the two programs, are slid away from each other. The separation between the two volumes activates an interstitial space, the entrance loggia (shown in East Section). As the volumes are slid apart, a bar unfolds to connect the two volumes on the second level (shown in the South Section). Created as a reaction to the movement between the two forms, this bridging piece responds similarly to the entrance loggia. Housing an interactive garden, this bar was formally emphasized by its extension through the play volume (shown in the South Elevation).

Portland Children’s Museum

Top: East Section. Middle: South Elevation. Bottom: South Section.

Material taxonomy and light quality were then implemented to further emphasize this formal gesture. The play volume is characterized by concrete and stained cedar; the learning volume is clad as a channel glass tube. The contrast between heavy and light, solid and transparent emphasizes the formal distinction between the two programs.

51 Laura Hemingway

Formal Study Models: Sliding, Stacking, and Rotating.

Right: Parti Model with relationship to existing site and building. Below: Site Plan showing existing building, surrounding buildings, parking, and new addition.

Portland Children’s Museum

Model of the freeplan structure.

FREEDOMS OF THE PLAN + PROGRAM Project Overview Located off of Highway 26 right outside of Portland, Oregon is the home for the Portland Children’s Museum. It is located in Washington City Park, which also includes the Oregon Zoo, World Forestry Museum, and the Portland Vietnam Memorial. Originally built in the 1950’s the museum has had multiple renovations and additions. The existing building sits on the edge the park right along Highway 26. It has a distinctive curve form, however that curve is not perceived from the inside. The building wants to be a greater part of Portland, playing a key role with Reggio Learning styles and keeping Portland green and eco-friendly. Most traffic is brought to the Washington Park by the MAX, Light Rail. Alternate routes of traffic consist of cars and bicycles. The task at hand was to create an addition that would inspire the children to learn, play, and have fun. The addition had a set program of new exhibit spaces, a hyper lobby, additional administration offices, classrooms, a cafe area, and a green roof or terrace. The main focus was for the children and to create a space that was inviting and playful for them, but was also a space that could be altered in a minor way to remain up to date.

Taylor Jarrell


Diagrams from upper left: Program; Opaque vs. Light; Circulation; Public vs. Private. ADMIN OFFICES







Process Taking a look at the site and existing area, Portland takes the environment into consideration. There was a big connection between water movement as it moves through the ground and as well as in how it collects. Analyzing this movement and tracking the similarities and differences of how permeable water is, we understand how the water metaphor could apply to the building. Programmatically the idea of layers and connection was seen as critical to the design.

Portland Children’s Museum

In the diagrams above we see how each programmatic space acts alone to represent itself. Each space acts independently yet they come together as a whole and represent a greater space involving a greater function. Each studio and exhibit space is implied by a careful undertanding of the column system. The copper paneled hyper-lobby shows a hierarchy over the rest allowing the entrance invite you into the free plan of the building.The garden and cafe area at the south and east side of the building create a connection the existing topography and vegetation. Light and opacity reiterate this idea of circulation throughout the space, allowing the visitor recognize naturally which areas are more public and which are private.

Process model with relationship to structure. Showing structural grain with columns and beams.

Floor plan & longitude section.

Taylor Jarrell



Activity Area




Gift Shop Tinkering Studio

Garden Senses Exhibit

Clay Studio

Physics Exhibit Painting Studio

Earth Exhibit


Outdoor Terrace

Site Analysis Machine. Showing the layers of water and how the corresponding words relate.

Concept Conceptually each space is organized for a different purpose. The exhibit spaces and classrooms were played off of each other based on the Reggio style of learning. This plays a major role in the building by setting up different spaces for learning that can immerse the child. By having these spaces act importantly, the glass facade emphasizes the overall concept of circulation within a free plan. Reflection Looking back on a project always gives one some insight that was not before considered. You must take a step back and observe before moving forward. With this project this iterative process helps the program become clearer. In turn, the circulation (space between the program) can also become more coherent. Being a program-driven project, the next step is to see how the programmed spaces can inhance all components of the idea and concept.

Portland Children’s Museum

East Elevation. The side that faces the existing building. It holds the main entrance to the new addition, as well as the courtyard garden.

Taylor Jarrell


North Elevation. This the primary facade for the building and first impression for its visitors. It faces the surrounding buildings and parking area.

Regulating lines of the site decided the position of the addition for the Children’s Museum as well as the rigid geomtries, such as the encompassing circle which creates a foundation to connect the rest of the structures.

A context map showing the relationship of the Children’s Museum to downtown Portland and the Willamette River. The two ways of transportation are the Light rail and Highway 26.

SITE MAP 1 : 50

MAP 1” = 1000’-0”

Portland Children’s Museum

SITE MAP 1 /32” = 1’-0”

Greater detail site map showing the location of the addition between the original Children’s Museum and the Forestry Center., as well as how it sits into the site. SITE SECTION 1 /32” = 1’-0”

REGULATING THE PERIMETER Geometries of the Site The site for this project presented significant questions for the design. How can the new building begin to organize the diversity and placement of existing artifacts? Also in what ways should the landscape be modified to help all building be a part of the program.The design process drew from the compositional principles of Suprematist painters, such as Malovich and Lissitzky who both used primitive geometries – e.g., circles, rectangles, lines, triangles, etc. – to create a composition that involves diverse forms as a unified whole. By adopting a Constructivist approach an abstract ordering of the site became simple and easy to sort the distractions of the site in a clear manner. With this abstract foundation architectural elements were arranged and negotiated. The circular geometry was the first mark on site, highlighing the Children’s Museum and serving as a necklace to connect the rest of the structures on the site. The addition to the museum was a hybrid of this abstract analysis where a series of regulating lines are extended from the existing structures to define a cruciform plan. An arcing wall defines a both between the new and existing museum structures while also serving as a garden wall. This wall plays off the existing children’s museum and references the circular geometry that circumnavigates the site.

Rafael Lopez


Top Left: Rendering of the outdoor garden showing the space created by the straight edge of the museum and the curved wall. Bottom Left: studio spaces of the museum showing the play of light and shadow.

Materiality of Program and Form

Portland Children’s Museum

The museum has two main material pallettes, reinforced concrete and cedar wood. Concrete was chosen because of its versatility and rhythmic properties (joints and ties). With poured concrete one can create any form they would like as well as any thickness – for example the museum has three formal walls varying from 1-3 feet of thickness. Having these wall creates a hierarchy within the form and space of the museum. Cedar wood was chosen mostly to contrast the concrete and in order to humanize and give warmth to the concrete. The cedar would be located in the museum to balance the concrete as well as highlight different programmatic spaces within the open plan of the museum. The axonometric diagram above and to the right shows exactly how these pieces come together. The section to right shows how the placement of the cedar panels can also begin to create the circulation through out the museum. Lastly having the cedar use as a cladding will allow for the concrete to act like a shell making the interior space seem less heavy.

1/16” = 1’-0” model of the addition minus the roof to see the structure below. The structural bays change depending on the programatic space such as studio and administration.


Left: Axonometric diagrams of the materiality of the museum. Exterior is concrete while the interior has cedar accents to create a constrast between the cold atmosphere and warm surface. Bottom: Two cross section, top shows the studio spaces and the outdoor cafe, while the bottom shows the administration wing.

Rafael Lopez



Series of diagrams explaining the crossing of volumetric spaces, circulation and overall parti of the building. The last two diagrams on the right show the two different formal gestures that enforce the parti.

Creating the Parti


As mentioned, the inspiration for the form of this project comes from Suprematist artists, Malovich and Lissitzky. The project follows this ideology in how the interior spaces and program are organized. By taking a Constructivist approach, the program was allocated to the different figures and materiality of the plan layout. The diagrams on this page explain and trace this concept. The project was designed by creating programmatic spaces in a volumetric way allowing for hybrid spaces. For example, one sees in the diagrams how two volumes or planes intersect creating a moment of hierarchy, such as in the exhibition and administration wings. This intersection reinforces where social interactions occur between the visitors and the administrators.







FIRST FLOOR PLAN 1/16”= 1’-0”

The composition of the museum is show in the diagrams indicating two separate figures, the cruciform and the curved wall. The cruciform creates and emphasizes the idea of two volumes with their public and private functions while the curved wall is relating the museum to the site. MATERIAL DIAGRAM

Portland Children’s Museum

Section and elevation of the east facade of the museum. The section shows left to right the auditorium, the studios, and the hyper lobbies.















SECOND FLOOR PLAN 1/16”= 1’-0”

First and second floor plan. The first floor is taken over by the exhibition space while the second is reserved for studio spaces and administration. VOLUME DIAGRAM




Rafael Lopez


Location Plan: Immediate site context with existing building in Washington Park and new museum addition.

Portland Children’s Museum

Roof Plan and corresponding Site Section of the new museum addition with existing building context.

DISSEMINATING THE PROGRAM Concept The parti of this project focuses on the movement of children and how they respond to spatial order. The design is a reflection of children’s interaction within space in a larger context, as a museum becomes a playground for learning and playing. Horizontally arranged to emphasize and enhance its linear circulation, the new building addition features four different program spaces that are separately organized so that each space is uniquely experienced. The design of the new building addition takes its form from the contours situated around the site. Providing a courtyard that exists between the entrance of the existing museum and its new addition alters its landscape. This allows visitors to experience more of the natural landscape as they approach the museum’s new main entrance. Aside from this courtyard space between two buildings, a vast area of natural features surround the new building addition, providing visitors with an exciting, yet calming outdoor experience at the end of their visit. Where corners of the existing building and the new addition meet, the landscape in front of the west side of the new addition is excavated, all the way through the boundary of the building’s east facade and landscape’s edge. This excavated land is ground for a special outdoor exhibit that is connected to an existing outdoor water exhibit.

Ravine Mangala


Floor Plans a) Second level, administration wing. b) First level, public and hyper lobby, studios, archivist library. c) Ground level, cafe, observation and outdoor exhibit.


Portland Children’s Museum

Visitors, both parent and child, experience the different programs that are within the new building addition in four sequential parts that fit into four distinct spatial categories: public, learn, play, and private. Of these four larger spatial program components, the public lobby is home to welcoming every visitor. Upon arrival, as a child continues to proceed through the building, he/she is led into the hyper lobby, a double-height learning space that is opened and subdivided with partition walls. Within those walls features three distinct special exhibits (physics, senses, and earth/cosmos), where a child is provided with a unique, pro-active learning experience. Along this linear procession through the building’s program spaces is a studio hall, the third piece to the broken down spatial program components. In this hall are three classroom spaces, which provide a child with hands-on experiences of putting learning into practice (playing). The fourth and last piece to the building program is a wing that is horizontally divided into three parts, featuring administration and office spaces on the second level, an archivist library on the first level,, and a cafe on ground level. The administration wing is the most private sector of the building, with no public interaction; the archivist library serves as an extension to a child’s learning and playing; and the cafe on ground level opens up to an outdoor exhibit space, which enhances the child’s experience of the interior programs in the museum.


Structural model showing primary building structure. a) West Structural View. b) North Structural View.. description.


Experience from Ideas As the design centers itself around the idea of children’s movement, interaction and response to spatial order, the new building addition supports this idea by presenting itself in four horiziontally packaged parts in elevation. Each of the four parts of the program has its own unique experience, yet their relationship to the program spaces in the existing building unifies them altogether. In the new addition, the sum of the different program spaces is broken up into smaller parts; however, in the existing museum, children experience the program spaces differently, where its individual parts have been demolished, redesigned or even rearranged together to form a whole. The relationship between the existing museum and its new addition relies greatly on the people that use the space: the current design state of the existing building restricts children to actively experience its program through an unbalanced composition of space; while the new building addition provides children with the freedom to uniquely experience the program spaces individually separate but unified.The sectional qualities of the new building addition reveal additional program features. As a child proceeds from a learning to a playing state, the spaces within the building begin to ramp up, from hyper exhibit spaces to studios. On ground level, corresponding beneath the west, transparent façade of the studios is a set of small observation spaces that ramp downwards unto the special outdoor exhibit. This experience of ramping upwards from studio to archivist library (first level) and ramping downwards from observation to outdoor space (ground level) is a unique feature that distinctly ties this idea together: children’s response to space is a result of collecting spaces and decomposing order.

Portland Children’s Museum

Ravine Mangala


West Elevation of, with corresponding west and east sections.

I started by separating the program by the modules given to us in the project brief. I then decided to distinguish each program by placing them at separate heights, bringing the structure from beneath the ground.

Site Section.

Portland Children’s Museum


Form and Earth Diagrams.

PORTLAND KID’S MUSEUM ADDITION Burrow Portland prides itself on its abundant preservation of nature, as well as efforts in giving back to the environment. In this spirit, the design of this project aimmed to follow this respect with nature and achieve an economical solution for the new museum that would benefit the site as well as the existing buildings around it. New Building Addition

nd Kid’s Museum

The solution was to burrow the new building into the ground so the roof could be an occupied and green space preserved for the occupants of Washington Park, making the building a more public and natural response to the landscape.

Ian McIver


Section running from North to South down the center of the structure.

Section running from East to West down the middle of the structure.

Program The function and programmatic spaces of the new and existing where organized around the flows and circulation of the project. A series of ramps were arranged in order to serve the various educational program elements. Service and storage for the museum was located to the north with all public galleries and workshops arranged to the south nearest the existing builiding. The educational wing was lifted off the ground giving the space a separate presence from the rest of the building.

Portland Children’s Museum

The materiality of the building came from an analysis of how the model could be construction and created. The curvature of the concrete wall is a difficult part to fabricate while still being a continous surface. I decided to contour the concrete walls so that each section could still appear continuous while being broken apart.

Material Palette Axononometric.

The Education program consists of rosewood walls while the sdministration’s walls are maple, keeping with Portland’s natural material pallete in accordance with the identity of the program.

Ian McIver


Plan of Main Level.

Portland Children’s Museum



Site Plan: The plan above shows the area of Washington Park in which the building resides. at 1/50 scale. The project is the black organic form in the bottom left hand corner.

image site plan

Location Map: Diagram showing the relationship between downtown Portland and the site at 1/1000 scale. The site is indicated by the black cicrcle. SITE PLAN: 1/1000

Portland Children’s Museum

Roof Plan: The model is at 1/16� scale demonstrates how the roof would be structured. Primary, secondary, and tertiary structure shown..

ARCHITECTURE AS FIELD CONDITION Reflecting Society Architecture that reflects societal norms is one way of defining and placing buildings into a larger context. For example, in the late Renissance, architectural design reflected the way society was being organized on a hierarchial system (church, nobles, everyday people). During this time a class system defined people in society based on their social standing. The church was omni-important, then kings, lords, and important merchants. After these nobles came surfs and peasants, and least important slaves. The class system regulated architectural design and many features of this earlier architecture endures today. For example, the use of an axis in many builings cities denoted power, hence the arrangement of space represented social status. The idea of hierarchy is architecture is something that is still very prominent in design today. We still feel the need to give importance to certain spaces because that is how architecture has been understood and taught. But if architeture truly reflects societial beliefs and practices, shouldn’t architectural design and its formal principles need ajustment. What is the form of a democratic architecture? In turn is hierarchy (for example, the formal axis) valued in the same way in modern times?

Andrew Olsen


Patterns, Paths and Networks

Line Perspective of the Entry Facade.

Portland Children’s Museum

In order for architecture to break with the formal system of hierarchy architects might begin instead from interconnectiviity rather than hierarchy. By turning away from rank order designers coud look at the interconnectivity between and flows through a building, rather than the importance of space. By avoiding hierarchy the architect might focus on the idea of the field compared to the idea of the object. When an architect focuses on the field, he/she can start to focus on the field conditions that begin to occur in designs, in other words, the plane of equality in a plan is suggested by the paths to all functions rather than the ording of those funciotns. “Field conditions, therefore, can be a formal or spatial matrix, capable of unifying diverse elements while respecting the identity of each”Stan Allen. When designing a non-hierarchial building, the architect needs to be in touch with the patrons who will be using the building. For the Portland’s Children Museum, the people who will be using the addition would be small children, and their guardians. For a project like this, it is essential to have a non-hierarchial building because of the natural way children move through spaces. Children are more aware of local connections between spaces, because of their curious nature. Children’s movements are free and fluid, and a space designed for them should be created in same way.

B PARTI/ CIRCULATION: Red- Free movement of non paying public Blue- paying public that uses ramp for efficiency and to save time. Brown- Movement of administration workers to office spaces

79 Andrew Olsen

STRUCTURE- based off of bounding lines from the existing building, a 25’x40’ structural grid was created. The form of the building came from manipulating this gird based off of the bounding lines that created them.

Glass Curtain Wall- The facade of the building is created by using thin, tall, linear pieces of glass that act a curtain wall. The mullions for the glass are also glass so they don’t add hieracrhy to the facade.

Partition Walls- The walls that create the spaces inside of the building are made out of the same wood that constructed the roof above. These walls help to divide the spaces and create a flow inbetween local conditions. These walls help to define spaces without making them more important than any other space in the building.

A The image above is looking at the roof structure in the south end of the building. The image shows how the roof folds, but also peels up to allow light from outside to define spaces inside of the building. The spaces defined change throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky, making no one space more hierarchial than any other.

Plan of building with Existing Building. Next to the plan are diagrams showing the structure grid, parti/ circulation, and materials.

South Elevation and Corresponding Section. SOUTH ELEVATION 1/8”=1’0”

Folds and Openings For the addition of the Portland Children’s Museum, the interior is a free plan, with minimal walls designating certain program areas. The roof for this addition is a field that folds and opens depending on the level of privacy a spatial needs. Because the free plan is occuring at ground level the roof plane is what helps to identify specific program areas. In areas where children will be running around, learning, and just experiencing life, the roof is raised high above them. In these spaces, the children are meant to forget about the roof and just focus on moving through the building in their own way. In spaces where privacy needs to be taken in account, or where the children are in a more controlled state of learning like in the studios, the roof folds down, almost touching the partition walls that are below. Because the roof folds in similair ways in all the areas inside the building, the idea of having a nonhierarchial space still works. If the roof changed dramatically from one space to another, it would create a system of hierarchy that would work against the entire concept of the project. Architecture is reflective of societial views, and common practices of the day. In a time where people are allowed to be free, and hierarchy isn’t a major aspect of everyday life, architectural design should do the same. If architects can start designing with a system of connections between and from spaces, instead of having hierarchy and form be the dominant features, architecture once again will be reflective of the people, beliefs, and societial norms of the time.


Portland Children’s Museum

SECTION B 1/8”=1’0”

West Elevation and corresponding section. This elevation and section combination help to understand the expansion and compression of space throughout the project. These two drawings also show how the roof folds, but is also peeled up to allow sunlight into the building at certain programatic areas.

Andrew Olsen


Image of the south end of the building. The image is showing how the roof is peeled back to allow light in, and also the colonnade that occurs inside of the project.

To the right is a diagram from the kinetic site machine showing the outcome of many tests, tracking the way a person could circulate through out the site.

Below is an image of the final Kinetic Site Machine showing the existing buildings of the site, the sloping topography, and the tree canopy surrounding the site.

Portland Children’s Museum

To the right is an image of the 1:50 site model and museum addition. This massing model shows the different spaces and how they are arranged on the site under the canopy.


Beginning Stage The initial idea for this project came from the earlier site machine that looked at a kinetic aspect of the site. This project focused on the free circulation throughout the site and how there is no established or direct path for people to take. Each person circulates through a site in their own way, with no two paths being the same. This site machine looked at the randomness of these paths and how each star ts and ends at a different point. The secondary aspect of this site is that the area in which a person can circulate is defined by a forest of trees.These trees outline the Washington Park area and create protection for the visitors. This idea of an area of circulation defined by a tree like canopy was carried over to the addition to the Portland Children’s Museum. It influenced the organization of the buildings and program spaces and the overhead canopy that creates a second level of protection within the immediate site.

Katherine Richard


The image to the bottom left shows an exterior perspective of the addition and the pond area located between all of the buildings.This is an important aspect to the site because it is where the water from the canopy gets circulated to.

Program as Roof This addition to the Portland Children’s Museum focuses on free circulation and protection from an overhead canopy. The spaces are organized based off of the cur ve of the existing building. This curve was continued through the addition and became the basis for the shape of the canopy.The structure of this canopy creates a grid where each of the buildings are based off of. This was done to pay recognition to the existing building and create one continuous building complex. Each of the program elements stands alone in its own structure to continue the idea of free circulation. Within each building there are minimal interior walls to enforce this idea. The horizontally of the buildings and elevations is balanced with vertical detailing as seen in the elevations to the right.

Portland Children’s Museum

The overhead canopy creates a different microclimate underneath it than in the rest of the site. It affords protection from the rain that can be very frequent in Portland. It creates protection for the children to play outside, even on rainy days. It not only acts as a protection device but also a rain harvester. The rain that is caught on the roof makes its way through a system that is connected to the small pond. This is part of the outdoor exhibit area and creates an extra place for kids to learn and explore the nature of water.

The image to the left shows a detail of how the canopy is structured and how the water flows from the top, down the columns and then eventu- ally back up into the pond.

The set of diagrams below show the impor tant features to the design such as program organiza- tion, circulation, and structure.

Katherine Richard


To the right is an image of the final struc- ture model of the 4 main buildings. All of the buildings are structured using 1’x1’ or 1’x2’ glulam beams that are exposed on the outside and the inside.

Materials The material palette for the addition is natural and reflects the values of the people of Portland. The structure is large glu-lam beams and the facade is made of vertical wood panels and glass to add verticality to each of the existing buildings. Concrete walls are used in strategic places to signify where the edge of the addition buildings are and to create a relationship with the original building which was made up of masonry units. The overhead canopy continues with the same structure and materiality as the individual buildings. This dense overhead field creates a sense of enclosure in the site even though the sides are completely open. The glass panels allow light to come into the buildings and allow water to be witnessed and understood when it runs over its surface.

Portland Children’s Museum

To the right is a section through the addition, looking toward the existing building. Here the pond and garden area can be seen in relation to the building.

Katherine Richard

87 87

To the left is the final plan of the Museum addition.

The photograph to the right is the final site machine model.

image or diagram

The photograph series below depicts the final kinetic breating wall in it’s different positions.

or det Portland Children’s Museum

The photograph to the right is Anna’s final 1”=50’ model showing existing surrounding buildings, the underground parking entrances, the altered landscape and a final diagrammatic building form.


overall image of building tail or site orientation

Preliminary Studies This semester was about connecting to a building’s site in a new way. We understood this relationship kinetics. The first assignment was at a small scale design for a kinetic breathing wall (far left). The design was derived from organic shapes when in its open state.The wall can be pushed into a half open position moved to a closed state by sliding it into a wall pocket. The open position allows air to freely pass above and below the opening slits. The half-open position allows for moderate air circulation but also permits viewing through a window. The fully closed position allows for the most light and view. The wall is kinetic due to its expanding and retracting fins. These are loaded with springs so when pulled out from the wall the slats flare and create a volumetric form when seen from the inside or outside of the building. The second project in our study of kinetics was to design and building a site machine. The design for this project represented the measuring and documenting of the porosity on site for the Children’s Museum project in Portland, Oregon. It is essentially a child’s toy, and operates by loading 70 marbles (symbolizing rain) on top of an acrylic box, then releasing the marbles simultaneously to demonstrate the different “layers of porosity” on the site.

Anna Schmitter


image or plans/sections

The two site diagrams shown on the left are what the site stared out like and how the site was changed to be more porous and green. The plan below the diagrams are of Portland, OR with our site and other important features and locations called out.

Design Process



Portland Children’s Museum

ibit will be a very soothing and aw inspiring exhibit. The enel of the visitors will be low as they take in “space” around hildren will be drawn to this exhibit with the dream of playdirt and seeing the stars. Adults will wearily walk in hoping no actual dirt to play with. People will be standing or sitting looking and pointing at what they notice. This exhibit could opportunity to have open/close skylights for nighttime obn of the stars.




The process work for the final Portland Children’s Museum project is shown to the right and left. The main idea for this project started out with the site machine (seen on the previous page). The site machine portrays the existing conditions of the site that would be altered. Studies of the site reveal that it is a very dynamic area surrounded by forests but is being taken over by the built world and parking lots. The image on the top left shows the large parking area on site. The concept for the building is to bring back the permeability and porosity of the site through built and natural means. The existing building on site is curved and had been renovated and added on to many times. This design brings the existing building back to its simple curved form, before additions were added. The new addition extends and wraps the building but not intrusively, allowing for circulation space between the addition and the existing parts.

image or details, etc.

To the left is an example of a page from the group program analysis. The composition, size, and adjacencies of this program element is broken down.

The photograph sequence on the left are part structure/part diagrammatic process PROGRAMmodels. Some ideas from each were used in the final design scheme. Below, is a photograph of Anna’s final diagramatic parti model on the 1”=50’ site model. The diagram series below that shows how a visitor may circulate in the building, the structure and program breakdown of the building, and transparency of materials of the building.





Anna Schmitter









image partial facade details or other feature











This perspective to the left shows the front entrance ramp of the building.


Final Resolution The final design for the Portland Children’s Museum encompasses the solutions to all preliminary studies including site and program analysis and the schematic design process. To the left are drawings and renderings of the final review work. The building is one in which a child would love to explore, learn, and have fun in. They would enjoy running around the many ramps that lead to green garden spaces and an outdoor theater and learning different skills in the many program elements like the cosmos, senses, and physics exhibits of the hyper lobby, and the clay, drawing, and tinkering studios that step down into the landscape, making the kids feel more connected to nature. The landscape plays a large part in bring back porosity on the site. As an extension of the park the Children Museum occupies an existing parking lot. The parking relocated underground allowing the site to be more natural and environmentally friendly. Paths link other site elements together, like the Max light rail station, the Oregon Zoo, and the World Forestry Center, which all lead to Anna’s addition to the Portland Children’s Museum.

Portland Children’s Museum

The image to the right is the front (North) rendered elevation showing the start of the main entrance ramp, the hyper lobby entrance, the studios fall to the rear, and the ramps/circulation space connecting these elements as they descend the hill (see plan).


Anna Schmitter



The image to the left is a site plan and top building plan with indicators of main attractions along the new pathways of the green space . The image above is a section cutting through the main entrance axis and below are a North (front of building) and West (side of building) rendered elevations.

SECTION 1 1/8”=1’








Site Study Model.

Portland Children’s Museum

City Map + Site Diagrams + Site Map.


SUBURBAN | URBAN REVITALIZATION Cultural Point The city of Portland and its downtown core is home to a large population of urban growth. The Portland Children’s Museum on the other hand is located just west of the downtown area. Although the site exist as one of the city’s major educational zones within the midst of upper class suburban neighborhoods. When analyzing the demographics of the region the education zone acts as a culturally diverse point on an otherwise flat demographic map. The undertone for this design is to reemphasize the urban green area (the current parking area which will turn into a public park over the next decade) to encourage revitalization of this urban area.This natural area then invites itself into the museum exhibit space encouraging exploration in and out of the building bounds.

Existing Museum + Addition and Surrounding Green Area. Site Map 1/32–”= 1ft

Charles Trowell


Building Organization

Radial Alignment Diagram

Portland Children’s Museum

Diagrams: Green Space + Strucutral + Public vs. Private, Transparent Zone

The form of the building is based upon the existing curve of the museum. The form aims to cultivate the space in the center of the buildings. By completing the circle of space between the Zoo, Forestry Center, Max Center, and Museum. The program areas of the building are responsible organization on the interior of the building. The concept of pushing and pulling not only refers to the theme of the parti.This theme also refers to the blending of program areas within the building. The main entry zone capture the cross axis of the larger exhibit hall and the cafe area both which lead outdoors. The administration area rest just above (overhanging balcony) and behind the ticketing areas and also to the far right the lobby space. The exhibit wings consist of exhibit spaces followed by studio workshops. This organization allows the children to explore a museum topic followed by a practical application of the recent information. This organization aligns along the philosophy of the museum of “Regio Learning” or learning by exploration. The materiality choices also align with the program elements. The transparent zones are reserved for public spaces (cafe + lobby), the steel areas (administration), and the concrete and wood areas (exhibit + workshop).

Plan of the musem helps define the program areas. The main entry beings in the lobby/ticketing area then expands to exhibit floors in the wings.

Charles Trowell


Program Distribution Diagram.

Building Atmosphere The transparent zone the building embrace the backdrop of the tree line acts as a looming force over the occupant of the museum. The different ceiling heights also play a role in the type of occupation of the different areas.The 25 foot height aligns to public areas, the 30 feet to the administration core and the 15 foot ceiling to museum halls. Light also begins to play a key role in the building by aiding to bring natural light. The overhead windowpanes help to highlight the circulation within the building. The indentions into the wings also allow insight into the upcoming wings workshop rooms and views to the exterior.

Topographic Model.

Portland Children’s Museum

Section View + Rendering of the Elevation.

Charles Trowell


Structural Model with roof attatched.

Model with Strucure exposed.

1/8”= 1’ Section Drawing

1/8”= 1’ Section Drawing

Studio Wong 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Andrew Beres David Brinn Brendon Bryant Rebecca Devlin Ashley Girth Chelsea Hansen Laura Hemingway Taylor Jarrell Rafael Lopez Ravine Mangala Ian McIver Andrew Olsen Katherine Richard Anna Schmitter Charles Trowell

Peter Wong Associate Professor

Portland Children’s Museum


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3 9

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The Entire Third Year Studio in Portland, Oregon | October 13, 2013.

Designed for Play  

15 projects from the Third Year Undergraduate Design Studios in the School of Architecture at UNCCharlotte - Fall 2013. (print version avail...

Designed for Play  

15 projects from the Third Year Undergraduate Design Studios in the School of Architecture at UNCCharlotte - Fall 2013. (print version avail...