Design Advice has been offered to ZGF Architects for the OHSU Center for Health & Healing South. The $200 million project will include two new buildings on adjacent blocks in South Waterfront. The proposed building on Block 29 will include four floors of “ambulatory hospital”, which OHSU defines as facilities for “highly complex outpatient surgeries & invasive procedures”. Above this is a cancer center, where clinical trials by the Knight Cancer Institute will be performed. Block 28 will include above grade parking, and subsidized guest housing for people receiving care in the adjacent facilities. The two buildings will be connected to each other and the existing OHSU Center for Health & Healing building via a set of sky bridges over SW Whitaker St and SW Bond St. Though still at an early stage in their design, current drawings show Block 29 at 196′-8″ tall and Block 28 at 162′-8″ tall.
Block 29 is located between SW Curry St, SW Bond Ave, SW Whitaker St and SW Moody Ave. It is currently developed with temporary landscaping at the ground level, which hides a below grade parking garage. Block 28 is bound by SW Curry St, SW River Parkway, SW Whitaker St and SW Bond Ave, and is currently used for surface parking.
The Design Commission appreciated the willingness of the applicant to come in for Design Advice so early in their process, but expressed major reservations about the skybridges; the vehicular dropoff facing Caruthers Park; and the amount of above grade parking. Sky bridges are generally discouraged in Portland, and no new ones have been built in the central city in a number of decades. The Commission accepted the need to link the ambulatory care facilities in the CHH North and South buildings with a sterile connection, but seemed less persuaded by the need for a sky bridge to the parking and guest housing. A significant amount of time was spent discussing whether the vehicular dropoff could be relocated from SW Curry St.
The project is expected to return for at least one more Design Advice hearing before the submittal of a full Type III Design Review.