Pacific Northwest College of Art, Schnitzer Center for Art and Design

Portland, OR

Pacific Northwest College of Art


Allied Works Architecture


Howard S. Wright


LEED Platinum

Services/Project Type
Structural Engineering
Civil Engineering
Specialty Engineering
Stormwater Management
Seismic Design
Special Inspections

The renovation and seismic retrofit of this existing 1915, 6-story, 140,000 SF former federal building transformed the space into an award-winning facility for a growing arts college. The highlight of the renovation was the addition of a new mezzanine and an accompanying grand atrium that “opened up” the space to bring in light to public areas.

Program requirements indicated the need for additional floor area, which was accommodated via the introduction of a partial mezzanine between the first and second floor. At three locations, the new mezzanine cantilevers out a significant distance from existing column supports. A series of cables that mimic traditional suspension bridge supports were laced around the curved slab edge at these locations, extending up to existing structure above, and giving the appearance that these edges “float”.

Seismic renovation work included adding fluid viscous dampers to the existing steel moment frames along with local strengthening of the diaphragms and foundations.

Civil engineering services included an initial phase to support a sustainability charrette and pre-design, followed by civil design services for construction documents of utility service upgrades and rights-of-way improvements along all four frontage streets.


Awards & Recognition

ENR Northwest, Best Projects 2015, Renovation/Restoration

SEAO, Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards - Juror's Choice, Renovation/Retrofit, 2016