PORTLAND, Ore., May 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Three non-profit organizations—Open School, Boys & Girls Club of Portland, and New Avenues for Youth—came together to create a two-building, 3.5-acre non-profit campus to support the Rockwood neighborhood's underserved youth. The campus, designed by Portland-based Holst Architecture, includes Open School East, the Rockwood Boys & Girls Club, the New Avenues Youth Opportunity Center, and outdoor sports courts.
Just outside the Portland city limits, Rockwood is among the most diverse and lowest income areas in the metro area. With the largest concentration of youth under the age of 18, Rockwood has also led the state for the lowest academic performance and graduation rates.
The campus delivers safe and inspiring places for kids of all ages to learn, play, and socialize. The design of each building supports and elevates its mission. The entrances of both buildings face the re-established continuation of Oak Street, now a through street, creating a safe drop-off area away from busy Stark Street. The concurrent development of the buildings enabled the organizations to create shared facilities that reduced capital investment.
The new Rockwood Boys & Girls Club aims to attract and inspire youth outside school hours. The club includes a secure entry with interior bike parking, gymnasium, kids' café, teen lounge, juniors center, youth and family services space, and an art studio. While Boys & Girls Club programs make use of the café, gym, and other spaces during after school and weekend hours, the synergy of uses enables Open School to use those areas during school hours.
The new Boys & Girls Club balances safety and security with attractive, "grown-up" design that appeals to the Club's members. The gym and classrooms on the ground floor feature fritted glass with supergraphics that allow views out but not in from the outside. A ribbon of yellow painted walls and ceilings leads members though the building and connects the major spaces, signaling to members of all ages that they are a part of a unified club.
Open School East is an innovative college-prep school that prepares students who have struggled in traditional public school. Serving grades 7-12, Open School features a robust program that supports students at risk of dropping out to reengage them with academics.
The design of the building reinforces the school's model of support and openness: it provides eleven classrooms, two science labs, an art studio, and administrative spaces arranged on two floors around a double-height gathering space.
The physical form of the building supports the school's approach. The classroom volumes are shifted along the edges of the central space, creating informal seating nooks off the corridors at the building's four corners. These spaces bring daylight into the hallways and accommodate small-group instruction, individual tutoring, small staff meetings, and informal check-ins.
The final piece of the phased development, the New Avenues Youth Opportunity Center, opened in a tenant space within the Boys & Girls Club building. The Center provides services and resources for homeless, at-risk, and foster youth.
SOURCE Holst Architecture