First PNCA Student Residence Hall
Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), project^, and the Powell family are pleased to announce the opening of ArtHouse, a striking new student residence for PNCA students, just in time for the arrival of the beginning of the 2013-14 academic year. This six-story building designed by Thomas Robinson of LEVER Architecture and located at 33 NW Park Avenue will bring 130 students to Portland’s North Park Blocks and the surrounding Pearl District. ArtHouse stands just across the PNCA’s Museum of Contemporary Craft on the North Park blocks. The residence is the first ground-up project built specifically to house PNCA students on the North Park Blocks and will be the counter anchor to PNCA’s main building, the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design at 511 NW Broadway, now a former post office slated for renovation with completion expected in 2015. PNCA’s urban campus is expected to jumpstart additional economic development and vitality along the North Park Blocks and the adjacent Old Town district.
With its fall opening, ArtHouse stands as a testament to PNCA’s continued growth and appeal to a widening range of students. More than 60% of the college’s students come from outside Oregon.
“We are happy to welcome students to this wonderful residence just blocks from the future Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design. It’s another step toward realizing our campus master plan for a walkable, centrally located PNCA campus in the heart of Portland’s culturally rich Pearl District,” says Tom Manley, PNCA President. “PNCA is grateful to the Powell family for their cultural and neighborhood stewardship.”
The idea of a student community on the North Park Blocks was initiated by Tom Cody of project^, a real estate development firm that has previously developed student communities at the University of Oregon. Cody approached PNCA with the idea for ArtHouse and, with concepts from LEVER Architecture, identified the former Powell’s Technical Books as the site and the Powell family as the partner.
“For us development is a public pursuit, where the projects are made relevant by partnerships with people like PNCA and the Powell family. Through the partnership a public and civic good emerges,” says Cody. “ArtHouse helped solve a critical market dysfunction, lack of student housing, while ensuring the long term cultural and environmental stewardship of an underused downtown property. ArtHouse will catalyze the transformation of the North Park Blocks as a vibrant community and cultural destination.”
The first floor of the six-story ArtHouse houses an arts focused café and a retail space as well as a spacious lobby/gallery and community space for students that extends from the Park Blocks to a rain garden and patio in the building’s interior courtyard. On the upper floors, natural light is pulled into the building through cutaways at the end of each corridor and expansive operable windows in the 50 studio, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom apartments that will house approximately 130 PNCA students.