Portland State University Office of Academic Innovation
Centrally located on PSU’s campus within the Smith Memorial Student Union, this project renovated and recreated the University’s Office of Academic Innovation (OAI). Working closely with University faculty and staff, Woofter Architecture was engaged to refine the program and implement a conceptual design created for OAI by Whelton Architecture. Working within a modest project budget, w+a strategically introduced affordable and innovative design elements and materials to stay on budget while maintaining the initial design intentions and achieving OAI’s functional and programmatic needs.
The project’s 8,500 sf of improvements provided an array of flexible group spaces that greatly enhanced the effectiveness of this important University resource. The design included creating a welcoming new reception area with a support desk visually linked to the “Collaborative Studio”, a large and flexible teaching and meeting space. Large pivoting walls between the meeting and reception areas provide multiple scales flexible gathering areas: from one large connected space to two separate spaces to multiple smaller group collaboration areas between the walls when rotated 90 degrees.
Resources serving the entire University community, including a reference library and three media booths, are centrally located in the new space. In these areas, faculty can record lectures, receive assistance with technology and review reference material related to teaching and new educational delivery methods. Additionally, the design included new enclosed offices and a variety of flexible meeting spaces distributed throughout the open office areas.
Photography by Christian Columbres