ed note slideshow 1
1 of 13
Slideshow-prev-disabled Slideshow-next

The new Jean Vollum Drawing, Painting, and Photography Building at Oregon College of Art and Craft is the first significant Portland building by an architect from beyond the city since Mark O. Hatfield US Federal Courthouse was completed downtown in the mid-1990s. Designed by Charles Rose Architects of Boston, the building wonderfully channels this campus’s historic ’70s-style Northwest Modernism into bolder forms and brighter spaces.

ed note slideshow 2
2 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

Along with the connecting Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson Thesis Studio building, the Vollum builing is merely the first phase of a larger, three-building addition by Rose interwoven within the hillside landscape and campus’s original buildings’ surroundings designed by the great Northwest architect John Storrs and landscape architect Barbara Fealy.

ed note slideshow 3
3 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

Model by Charles Rose Architects.

ed note slideshow 4
4 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

From the upturned corner of the roof that marks the Vollum building’s entrance, Rose’s design defines the building less as a volume than as a series of spaces made by intersecting planes.

ed note slideshow 5
5 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

This building is a no-frills workshop. A long hallway space functions as gallery, locker room, and casual gathering place, with the landscape seen through the window defining the space as much as any wall.

ed note slideshow 6
6 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

Clerestory windows throughout the building bounce the light through the space, offering plenty of illumination for the dark winter months and also a connection to the sky.

ed note slideshow 7
7 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

The studio classrooms are equally well sunlit but also feature shades if teachers and students want to control the light.

ed note slideshow 8
8 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

There are few right angles in the building, a condition that, at the meeting of canted walls and roof, void and solid, creates spectacularly abstract effects, as fitting for a church as for a workspace—the perfect combination of utility and beauty for a place to make art.

ed note slideshow 9
9 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

The abstract quality of Rose’s architecture makes for compelling exterior forms that, exquisitely crafted out of humble materials, befit the Oregon College of Art and Craft roots in Oregon’s early-20th-century Arts and Crafts movement.

ed note slideshow 10
10 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

But perhaps most important of all is the manner that Rose interweaves the forms with the landscape…

ed note slideshow 11
11 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

…and the way he connects the buildings together.

ed note slideshow 12
12 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

Rose buildings are often likened to origami. But that’s way too simple.

ed note slideshow 13
13 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next-disabled

His architecture is more akin to a dance: a pas de deux between the building and landscape—or better yet, a pas de trois: landscape, architecture, and light.

ed note slideshow 1
ed note slideshow 2
ed note slideshow 3
ed note slideshow 4
ed note slideshow 5
ed note slideshow 6
Slideshow-next
ed note slideshow 7
ed note slideshow 8
ed note slideshow 9
ed note slideshow 10
ed note slideshow 11
ed note slideshow 12
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next
ed note slideshow 13
Slideshow-prev
More Slide shows

Please help us keep this community civil. We retain the right to remove or edit comments containing personal attacks or excessive profanity, and comments unrelated to the editorial content. Consult our Terms of Use for more details.