The Portland Art Museum is the oldest museum in the Pacific Northwest, with stunning acquisitions and special exhibitions presented in three 20th-century landmark structures. Ann Beha Architects completed their third major expansion and restoration project for the museum, converting a historic Masonic Temple to a new home for museum exhibitions, programs, and offices. Formerly a closed, windowless structure, the temple now provides over 140,000 square feet of new space for contemporary and modern collections, and serves as the centerpiece for museum programs and administration.

The design challenge was to transform a dark, massive landmark into an accessible and dynamic center for art and community. At the building base, high cast-stone walls were removed, and replaced with terraced plinths for sculpture and plantings, offering a series of gradual level changes. This new pedestrian level opens the building to the public, and extends the vocabulary of the new sculpture court. Below the sculpture court, the temple joins the original museum via underground galleries. A new 60-foot-tall glass "pleat" is cut into the south elevation, offering expansive views to the city from five levels of galleries. Two new glass penthouses are used for special exhibitions, and meeting and workspaces, with abundant light and views.

The museum wing provides 30,000 square feet for contemporary art galleries, 25,000 square feet for administrative offices, and restored monumental spaces for museum programs and gatherings. Meeting spaces are distributed throughout the building to encourage programs and educational activities.

The design approach invites a dialogue between old and new, contrasting the massive historic masonry bulk with the transparency of glass interventions. The transformation secures the temple's future survival by deploying contemporary design in combination with historic preservation.



Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR



Ann Beha Architects,
33 Kingston Street,
Boston, MA 02111,
ph: (617) 338-3000,
fax: (617) 482-9097

Ann M. Beha FAIA
Peter C. Sugar AIA

Design Team:
Chris Raber
Paula Gerlach
Scott Slarsky
Cynthia Deschenes
Adam Glickman

Associate Architect:
SERA Architects PC, Portland OR
Donald Eggleston AIA
Joe Pinzone AIA
Lisa Petterson AIA
Eden Brukman

Construction Team:
Hoffman Construction Company
Portland, OR



MEP/FP: Ove Arup & Partners Massachusetts, Inc.
Cambridge, MA

KPFF Consulting Engineers
Portland, OR

Harper Hoof Peterson Righellis, Inc.
Portland, OR



Lighting Consultant:
Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design Inc.
San Francisco, CA

Kalin Associates, Inc.
Newton, MA         

Acoustical Engineer:
Cambridge, MA

Sculpture Court:
Delaney and Cochran Landscape Architecture
San Francisco, CA

Portland, OR



Peter Vanderwarker,
(617) 964-2728,


CAD system, project management, or other software used:




Exterior cladding

Masonry: Pioneer Waterproofing Company, Inc. (Contractor)

Glass: Structural Glass: Eckelt SSG Lite- Wall ISO; Aluminum Curtain wall and window systems: Kawneer 1600 System and 45IT windows; skylights: Aluminum by DeaMOR Associates, Inc.; Glass insulated units, including custom silkscreen and spandrel panels by Viracon



Built-up roofing: McDonald& Wetle, Inc.Doors

Hollow Metal: Steel Doors and Frames: by Stiles Custom Metal

Paint Grade and veneer flush wood doors: by Marshfield Door Systems

Frameless glass entry doors: by Grand View Glass and Metal

Doors integral to the curtain wall window systems: by Kawneer

Integral pocketed doors: by Total Door



Door Hardware: Manufacture’s Adams-Rite Manufacturing Co., Corbin Russwin, Locknetics, Bommer, Markaar, Glynn-Johnson, Pemko, Ives, Rixson, LCN, Schalge, Stanley, Trimco and Von Duprin


Interior finishes

Paint: Provided by Williamsen & Bleid, Inc.

Miller Paints: Colors mixed to match Benjamin Moore color selections

Metallic Silver Ceiling Paint: Modern Masters, Inc.

Laminate: Wilson Art

Dry wall: Plaster and Drywall by Western Partitions, Inc.

Masonry: Pioneer Waterproofing Company, Inc. (Contractor)

Flooring: Polished concrete flooring and terrazzo restoration in Galleries, Lobbies and Office Reception areas,  by Northwest Stone Restoration, using Retro-Plate 99 system. Wood Flooring- Select White Oak by Mid-America Hardwoods, Inc., Resilient Flooring: Armstrong

Carpet fiber: Axminster: wool-nylon blend

Acoustical ceilings: Fabric wrapped acoustical wall and ceiling panels: Sabin Sound products with Guilford of Maine fabric – FR-701/Style 2100, color “Straw”

Paints and stains: Williamsen & Bleid, Inc.

Wallcoverings: Painted Gypsum walls, and painted wood baseboards- by USG Brand gypsum and plaster products.  Marlite FRP at Kitchen and Catering Service Area walls

Carpet: Axminster (Ballrooms and meeting rooms), Shaw Carpet (Administrative Office Areas), Mohawk Commercial (Corridors and other misc. spaces)



Office Systems, Chairs, Conference Tables, Clerical Seating, and Desks provided by Kimball

Other furniture provided by Bernhardt

Area Rugs and Mirrors provided by Crate and Barrel

Stage Curtain provided by Rose Brand



Controls: PCI Lighting Control Systems



Elevators/Escalators: Hydraulic Elevators – Schindler Elevation Corporation, Wheelchair Lifts – Engineered Products of Oregon



Piping, Valves, Specialties, Equipment: W.A. Botting Company

Plumbing Fixtures: Keller Supply

Refrigerant Monitoring System: Cooling Towers

Water Chillers, Terminal Heating Units, Variable Air

Volume Boxes: Oregon Air Reps

Refrigerant Monitoring System: Applied Systems

Plumbing Fixtures: Kohler and American Standard