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July 23, 2020
Oregon Convention Center Renovation
Contractor: Western Partitions Inc.
Architect: LMN Architects
Team: Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters, GTS Interior Supply, Armstrong World Industries
The Oregon Convention Center on the Willamette River in Portland is the largest in the Pacific Northwest and one of only two LEED Platinum convention centers in the United States.
WPI was tasked to incorporate Oregon design themes throughout the building such as textured wall coverings resembling a grove of trees. However, the ultimate design is the 30,000-square-foot ballroom with over 1,000 Arktura SoftGrid ceiling clouds echoing a tree canopy. In the foyer to the ballroom, 8,000 square feet of Arktura Atmosphera ceilings create a 3D replica of the Cascade Mountains and Willamette Valley.
The challenge was the installation of two different specialty ceiling systems. In the ballroom, over 1,034 separate cloud panels were hung at different heights, requiring six to eight suspension cables for each cloud or over 7,000 total cables and mounting systems before the ceilings were hung. All were covered in plastic before K-13 Acoustic Installation was over-sprayed.
Another challenge was that the convention center was open during the project, constantly changing the work schedule. The deadline was met through detailed pre-planning and organization. The resulting custom-designed ceilings are more a work of art than a commercially constructed ceiling.
Judges’ comment: “The planning, attention to detail, and craftsmanship on the Oregon Convention Center ceilings by Western Partitions are just phenomenal. The vision, ambition, and sheer scale of the project are as magnificent as the skills needed to achieve the goals.”