A first Design Review hearing has been held for the new Multnomah County Health Department Headquarters. The building will house clinical functions, associated workplaces, and administrative offices for the Health Department. The 9-story, 157,000 sq ft building by ZGF Architects will rise to a height of 145’-4 1/2”. At the ground level the building will include a pharmacy and work space, a “gallery” facing the street, and a potential lease space. Floors 2 to 4 will be occupied by clinic and clinic administration spaces. Floors 5 to 9 will mostly be occupied by office space, with a south facing terrace at the 9th floor. The majority of roof area will be covered by an ecoroof. No vehicular parking is proposed. A bike room, with 55 parking spaces, will be accessed from NW Hoyt Street.
The half block site at NW 6th & Hoyt is currently vacant land, owned by the City of Portland Housing Bureau. The Bureau intends to convey the property to Multnomah County at no cost. The western half of the block is occupied by Bud Clark Commons, a housing and resource center for the homeless which opened in 2011. In 2015 the Portland City Council increased the maximum allowable height on the site from 75′ to 150′ through a Zoning Map Amendment.
Primary exterior materials for the building include precast concrete, stucco, light colored norman brick, aluminum windows, painted metal panel, box rib metal panel and aluminum windows.
The Multnomah County Health Department HQ previously received Design Advice in April 2016. A Staff Report and Recommendation To The Design Commission, published before the September 22nd hearing, did not yet recommend approval for the building. The major issues discussed by the Design Commission included: whether the building should have a stronger contextual response to nearby buildings such as Union Station; the ground floor activation, including the impact of the deeply recessed windows against the “gallery” space; the design of the loading door and the staff entrance; whether the main entrance could be more prominent; and the need for canopies or some form of weather protection on the east elevation.
The project is currently scheduled to return in front of the Design Commission for a second hearing on October 27th.
“No vehicular parking is proposed” is never a good thing.
Why? It’s literally right next to multiple train, bus & bike routes.
There is a surplus of parking available in nearby structures, so there is no reasonable need to build more here. Access would be limited anyway due to the close proximity of both MAX and the Broadway Bridge ramp.
I worked for a short time out of the existing Multnomah County Health Headquarters at the McCoy Building and I can testify that it is a structure in desperate need of replacement. It has working conditions that make the Portland Building look good.
keeping it brutal! nice 🙂
The Design Commission should require the West facade to be detailed to the same standard as the other three. There is substantial setback from Bud Clark Commons and given the Broadway ramp and the forthcoming post office redevelopment this is the facade most people will see.