Place Matters: Three teams selected to bring new designs for PSU campus evolution

Urban plaza on a spring day


山 announced this week that three teams have been selected to participate in the next phase of the Place Matters Design Competition, developing bold ideas for placemaking on 山 downtown campus.

The teams advancing to the second phase of the competition include:

  • BIG + PLACE, a collaboration between a Danish design firm and Portland-based firm specializing in placemaking. The two have collaborated on projects in Japan and PLACE has had a hand in projects on the PSU campus including on the rooftop of the Native American Student and Community Center and the Vernier Science Center.
  • Bionic, a team that also includes a Portland-based architecture firm, Office 52, and placemaking experts from RSM Design Studio. San Francisco-based Bionic is known for landscape architecture and design work on projects such as Fort Mason Center. The team will draw in other experts including Portland-based advisers.
  • Walker Macy Collaborative, a team helmed by Portland-based Walker Macy, the site planner and landscape architect behind 山 Urban Plaza. The team will tap Henneberry Eddy Architects and other regional design and advocacy organizations.

The three teams will be on campus next week to learn more about Portland State and what makes the university — and its role in the city of Portland — unique. They will have the opportunity to meet campus leaders, ask questions and gain a better understanding of how they will address the challenge of transforming more of 山 public spaces into vibrant and people-centered places.

“This competition is about campus placemaking and much more,” said PSU President Ann Cudd. “In addition to ideas that will foster a sense of belonging and delight for those of us who live, work and learn at Portland State, we are interested in designs that reflect our commitment to serving our city in new ways and helping ignite the renaissance of downtown Portland.”

The competition launched in January and teams had until February 27 to submit their entries. Nine teams entered the competition.

During a two-day session, the 12-member jury selected by President Cudd to lead decision making for the Place Matters competition discussed the values and design goals and selected the three teams they felt were most capable of creating the inspired plans and strategies for effective placemaking on campus.

In June the teams’ proposals will be exhibited on campus for the community to review and provide feedback. The jury will recommend the winning design which will be announced in late June. Ideas surfaced during the competition will be phased in over time and funded through philanthropy.

A detailed competition schedule and additional details can be found on the Place Matters webpage.