Project Detail


Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Central Utility Plant

Portland, OR United States


Project Description

"Located at the edge of a central city hospital campus and a major highway off-ramp, the Legacy Central Utility Plant is a 6,100 SF building housing new electrical gear, chillers and boilers, cooling towers and emergency generators. This plant will service the new Legacy Emmanuel Children's Hospital, which is currently under construction, as well as provide new capacity for the existing hospital.

Adjacent to a residential neighborhood, it was important for the building to push beyond the typological utility plant, and provide a composition that scales from the residential to the adjacent, future, small-scale commercial sites and expanding health center campus. Simple, plain and volumetric shifts respond to the programmatic elements within and provide visual interest along the pedestrian way.

Materials are a textural composition of board formed concrete, vertical and horizontal box rib metal panels, and glass that tie the hospital campus to the industrial character of the street while setting a precedent for future development along Kerby Avenue. To achieve the required glazing within this development zone, each programmatic space was articulated in varying compositions of glass that would further animate the façades.

The corner high bay boiler and chiller room is surrounded by transparent and fritted full height glazing, with an integrated perforated metal screen within box rib metal panels that allow the building to have multiple layers of transparency day and night. The electrical room was pulled away from the high bay volume, and scaled in a shorter pedestrian scale. The equipment itself is painted to further showcase the mechanical nature of the building, Varying glass openings invite pedestrians to view the specialized equipment within, and vertical orange colored glass above expresses the electrical switchgear volume. The resulting “L”-shaped plan helps screen the larger generators and cooling towers while pulling them away from the street.

Lighting has also been thoughtfully incorporated into the building design; the lighting at night is particularly effective in making this a safe and dramatic presence on this edge of the Legacy Emanuel Medical Center campus.



Project Details

Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Central Utility Plant
Shared by:
Project Team:
    Karl Sonnenberg
  • Project Manager: Kip Story 
  • Principal Designer: Randy McGee 
  • Project Architect: Adam Christie 
  • General Contractor: Hoffman Construction 
  • Landscape Consultant: ZGF Architects LLP 
  • Structural Engineer: Catena Consulting Engineers 
  • Mechanical Engineer: CDi Engineers 
  • Civil Engineer: Harper Houf Peterson Righellis, Inc. 
  • Electrical Design: Sparling 
Project Type:
Project Status:
Year Completed:
Project Size:
    6,073 sq ft
Construction Cost:

Specified Products

Hoffman Corporation Board Formed Concrete

Provides texture and scale

Streimer Sheet Metal Preformed Ribbed Metal Panels

Captures light, provides scale and layered transparency when perforated.



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