ZGF Architects have gone in front of the Design Commission with proposals for the OHSU Center for Health and Healing (CHH) South. The two block development will include a 15 story, 378,160 sq ft ambulatory hospital and research building on South Waterfront Block 29. A skybridge will connect the new building to the existing Center for Health and Healing, located directly to the north. On Block 28 an 11 story patient housing and parking garage structure will be built.
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 new hospital building will be used for what OHSU describes as “highly complex outpatient surgeries & invasive procedures”. The 7 existing operating rooms in CHH North will be connected to 10 new operating rooms in the South building, which will also contain support space including central sterile processing and extended stay floors. Clinics and space for the Knight Cancer Institute to conduct clinical trials will be located in the upper floors of the building. At the ground level the building will include drop off and check in functions, an outpatient pharmacy and a dining area. Despite the Design Commission urging the applicants during the Design Advice process to relocate the patient drop off porte cochère, it remains facing Caruthers Park. As demonstrated in the full drawing packet, the applicants studied many alternative configurations for the drop off, but none were found to work.
The primary material for the Center for Health and Healing South will be a glass curtain wall system, in varying patterns. At the podium level facing the park the glass will be fritted with a pattern based on the genome sequence. Secondary materials will include metal louvers and aluminum panels.
The building on Block 28 will provide parking for 678 vehicles in levels 2 to 6 of the structure. On top of the parking structure OHSU will provide 5 stories of guest housing for patients coming to Portland for treatment from across the state and region. Dining areas for adult and juvenile patients at the 7th level will be located directly adjacent to a landscaped terrace. Conference facilities and an urgent care facility will be located at the ground level.
Materials proposed for the Block 28 structure include formed metal panels and aluminum composite material panels, as well as aluminum fins at the garage. Storefront glazing will be used at the ground floor and fiberglass windows at the residential units.
The Center for Health and Healing South was previously presented to the Design Commission during an optional Design Advice Request hearing in July. At the time the architectural expression of the Block 29 was very well received, however there was a sense that the design of Block 28 needed to be better resolved. At the same hearing the Design Commission voted recommend approval for a skybridge over SW Whitaker, which was one fewer than had been requested by OHSU during the first DAR. The City Council voted to approve the major encroachment review for the skybridge in October.
The project’s first full Design Review hearing was held on January 7th, however a Staff Report [PDF] published before the hearing did not yet recommend approval. Issued raised in the report as remaining to be resolved related to: the activation of SW Whitaker St at Block 28, including the placement of the stair towers at the building corners; the parking garage screening; the building line at the ground level along SW Curry relating to the drop off; and the activation of the corner of SW Moody Ave and SW Whitaker Street. Discussing the impact of the areas needing further resolution was Commission Chair David Wark:
There’s a term called “cumulative effect”, and it’s used on historic buildings to gauge [for example] if you change something on the west elevation, or inside on the north stair, or whatever… how do you gauge if you’re impacting the historic building? So I borrowed that phrase in looking at what we have today: the cumulative effect of a porte cochère at the south elevation facing the public park, the skybridge, five to six floors of above grade parking, nine modications (five of which have to do with percent of glass and ground floor active space). So I look at that and I say, well, what we’ve decided on so far is that the porte cochère at the south is probably in, the skybridge is in and probably the above grade parking is in. So what’s left for us to react to and to try to shape is the ground floor active space, how good that entrance can be, how great the architecture can be, and how to mitigate the above grade parking. And so that’s where I’m at. Because the big things are decided.
The applicants are expected to return in front of the Commission on February 4th with revised drawings.