Ann Beha Architects complete the Portland Art Museum in Oregon
Ann Beha Architects recently completed a major expansion and restoration project for the Portland Art Museum. Formerly a closed, windowless structure, this historic Masonic Temple now provides over 140,000sf of new space for contemporary and modern collections, and serves as the centerpiece for Museum programs and administration.
The design challenge was to transform a dark, massive landmark into an accessible and dynamic center for art and community. At the building base, high cast stone walls were removed, and replaced with terraced plinths for sculpture and plantings. This new pedestrian level opens the building to the public, and extends the vocabulary of the new sculpture court. Below the sculpture court, the Temple joins the original Museum via underground galleries. A new 60 foot tall glass “pleat” is cut into the south elevation, offering expansive views to the city from five levels of galleries. Two new glass penthouses are used for special exhibitions, and meeting and work spaces, with abundant light and views. The Museum wing provides 30,000SF for contemporary art galleries, 25,000sf for administrative offices, and restored monumental spaces for museum programs and gatherings.