University Park Community Center - as built version


University Park Community Center was designed and constructed during WWII as a temporary facility to provide support services to nearby shipyard workers. The building was designed of slender wings that would provide natural light and ventilation to all occupied spaces, without reliance on air conditioning or artificial lighting. These wings had been carefully sited to keep existing trees in place and provide a natural shade canopy. Where windows were inappropriate, or too far away, clerestories provided natural light throughout the facility. This design could offer a textbook example of early sustainable design.

When we at Portland Parks and Recreation decided to save this “temporary” structure from further ruin, in 1997, it was these qualities that appealed to me as an architect: abundant natural light, clear circulation, cross ventilation and magnificent trees that towered over the facility. It was also these qualities that we have maintained and to some degree improved on: there is even more natural light and daylighting, the circulation is even clearer, we added more clerestories and skylights, and there are even more and diverse trees and beautiful sustainable plant materials.

In conjunction with McBride Architecture [renovation] and Scott Edwards Architecture [new].   Constructed by Triplett Wellman Contractors.

Sustainable features - the project achieved LEED Certified.

  1. A rainwater reclamation system captures rain from the new gym roof and diverts it to a large underground storage tank.  It is treated and used for toilet flushing in the locker room area.

  2. All roofing materials are light and reflective to minimize heat-island effect.

  3. Both the existing building as renovated and the new gym addition are rich in “day-lighting” opportunities, diminishing reliance on artificial light.

  4. The building was renovated – “recycled” – instead of being built from scratch.  This took advantage of existing trees and plant materials.

  5. Porous paving was used at the senior center entry.

  6. High-efficiency boilers and mechanical equipment.

  7. Dual-flush toilets.

  8. “Solatube” skylights were used over the new meeting room.

  9. Energy-control systems allow remote monitoring of all mechanical systems for optimum control and minimum reliance on frequent maintenance visits.

  10. High percentage construction material recycling [about 95%].

Charles Jordan Community Center as of 2013