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Discover the new Columbia Building designed by Skylab Architecture

A Multi-function complex integrated within a sustainable landscape

Photography by © Jeremy Bittermann

Skylab Architecture has recently completed works on a multi-function complex in Portland, Oregon. The Columbia Building supports the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services. The 11,640 square foot structure has office space, a visitor welcoming area, and public meeting areas. It supports the wastewater treatment facility’s engineering department and serves as an immersive educational experience, all of which are incorporated into a sustainable environment. Discover more after the jump.

Photography by © Jeremy Bittermann
Photography by © Jeremy Bittermann

The new one-story building has seven folded cast-in-place concrete roof forms that collect rainfall and direct it via a planted roof and along berms into a readily seen collecting system that flows into the Columbia River. The project succeeded in achieving three distinct goals on a single campus site: the development of a lively and efficient work environment, clean on-site stormwater filtration, and the creation of a dynamic building that sparks discussion about the condition of the local watershed and rivers.

Photography by © Jeremy Bittermann
Photography by © Jeremy Bittermann
Photography by © Jeremy Bittermann

The building’s surroundings and the center, partially enclosed Commons space are highlighted by the translucent north facade. The movable air circulation vents on the serrated curtain wall allow for natural ventilation of the interior areas. The Commons’ mirrored glass reflects and refracts light, blending the structure with the surroundings. The structure has earned a LEED Gold rating.


Photography by © Jeremy Bittermann

Skylab project team

Jeff Kovel, Design Director 
Brent Grubb, Project Architect and Manager 
Susan Barnes, Project Architect 

Consultant team

Architecture: Skylab
Contractor: Skanska 
Civil Engineer: Vigil Agrimis, Inc. 
Structural Engineer: catena Consulting Engineers
Landscape: Studio 
Lighting: Biella Lighting Design 
Branding: The Felt Hat 
Consultants: Green Building Services 
Partner Architect: Solarc Architecture and Engineering Inc. 
Sculpture Artist: John Grade 
Client: Bureau of Environmental Services 

Photographer: Jeremy Bittermann @jeremybittermann

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