Located on Portland State University’s campus at the south end of the South Park Blocks, this project involved the revitalization and expansion of PSU’s Peter W. Stott Center. Designed in close collaboration with Sink Combs Dethlefs (now Perkins & Will), the project completely transformed the existing outdated, inward-focused building, originally constructed in 1966, into a vibrant and welcoming facility that supports a wide range of functions including academics, athletics, and general student use. The centerpiece of the project is the Viking Pavilion, a multi-use arena that hosts events ranging from competitions to concerts to commencements.
The project encompassed areas of renovation and new construction, with the majority of new construction on the eastern, Park-facing half, including the new arena and a new exterior. This served to shift the center of the building’s use and activity to directly engage the Park and the heart of campus. In addition to the arena, new program areas include a diverse range of student gathering and study areas, general use classrooms, and a cafe.
“…(the Viking Pavilion) feels like a space where people want to be: not just for a basketball game or a conference, but simply as a place to study or to hang out with friends.”
The design creates a multi-use facility, with public lobbies, concourses, and lounges configured to be used daily by students and the entire campus community while also accommodating athletic competitions, symposia, and graduations. Unlike typical venues that sit dark between events, this facility is envisioned as both a campus and civic amenity that is always active with use.
The exterior design of the Viking Pavilion expresses the civic importance of the facility with a simple form that celebrates its unique nature as a multi-use community resource. In place of the existing blank brick walls, generous areas of glazing are carefully distributed to reveal the form of the arena within and to connect the energy and use of the building’s public spaces with the Park and campus beyond. Similarly, the site design and public spaces of the building are envisioned as a sequence of spaces that extend the space of the Park into the building and the life of the building into the Park.
The arena is designed to further promote this engagement and connection between interior and exterior spaces, with its upper seating separated from the lower by the main entry level concourse. This creates views into and across the arena from throughout the building as well as the Park and other exterior public spaces.
“We have had an overwhelmingly positive response on the new arena from all of our fans, boosters, alums that have come back. It is something we are very proud of and think turned out even better than we hoped.”
Associate Athletic Director
Portland State University
Cladding the hovering upper volume of the arena within the building’s new main lobby is a wood wall stretching the entire length of the 200-ft-long space. Designed to evoke the hull of a Viking ship in honor of the University’s mascot, its undulating form of reclaimed is visible from the Park and campus both day and night.
Renovations prioritized spaces that benefit all student-athletes, including sports medicine, an academic center, and a new athletics weight room located in a repurposed natatorium. The project also included the creation of a new Vikings Hall of Fame located in the former main entry.
87,200 sf renovation
55,000 sf expansion
Perkins & Will, Denver
KPFF Structural & Civil
Lango Hansen Landscape Architecture
Luma Lighting Design
Duray – J.F. Duncan Industries
American Architecture Award,
Chicago Athenaeum, 2020
Design Citation Award,
AIA Portland, 2018
1st Place, Education Renovation,
Daily Journal of Commerce, 2019