Portland Art Museum Expansion

Portland, Oregon

The Portland Art Museum’s campus consists of two landmark structures, the Main Building (Pietro Belluschi, 1932) and the Mark Building (Frederick Fritsch, 1924). Presently linked by an underground passage, the buildings lack direct connections above grade, limiting the museum’s programming and visitor experience.  The new Rothko Pavilion will link the two buildings and provide connectivity at four levels, uniting the museum campus.

The three-story Rothko Pavilion will become the museum’s new front door.  To the east, the upper level is set back, responding to the existing architecture of Main and Mark and creating a terrace overlooking the Park Blocks.  From the west, a renovated plaza leads to the new pavilion.  Both facades are transparent glass, maintaining visual connectivity across the site.

The Community Commons fills the pavilion’s ground level.  Open to the public during business hours, this day-lit, transparent space will be the museum’s living room, offering museum-goers and pedestrians alike a place to stop and rest. Functional necessities such as ticketing, café and museum store are accessible from the Community Commons.

Upstairs, the Rothko Pavilion features a day-lit, double-height space linking the second floors of Main and Mark.  The new heart of the museum’s campus, this multi-purpose space can be used for art display, performances, and special events.

Cross sections reveal the dynamic spatial character of the Rothko pavilion, with its interlocked, double height zones.

At the third floor, a bridge connects the Main and Mark Buildings and overlooks the gallery below.  A roof deck, accessed from the bridge, provides a place to rest and enjoy the view of the Park Blocks.


All images ©Vinci | Hamp Architects, Inc.