Oregon Zoo Education Center

Portland, OR

Guided by the Zoo’s central theme, Small Things Matter, the design of this LEED Platinum-certified Education Center brings together a number of architectural and exhibition elements to create teachable, sustainable moments. Built with a combination of heavy timber, light wood framing, and steel, the two single-story buildings are inspired by the circular, woven nature of a bird’s nest; the resulting architecture creates an intertwined relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces that blends into the zoo’s landscape and exhibits. The sweeping cantilevered glulam entry roof and cedar-clad exterior draw visitors into the lobby’s interactive displays, insect exhibit, and event space. Sustainable design strategies include an expansive rooftop photovoltaic array, raingardens with 90 species of native plants that provide wildlife habitat while cleaning stormwater for reuse, bird-friendly lighting, and fritted glass windows. The Center is expected to achieve net-zero energy certification.

Version History
  • Project uploaded by WoodWorks Innovation Network on 10-23-2020
Project Details
  • Number Of Stories


  • Bldg system

    Mass Timber

  • Sq. Meters


  • Construction Type:


  • Building Type:


  • Material Types:

    Mass Timber

Project Team
  • Opsis Architecture
    Opsis Architecture Design Architect
  • Ayush Vaidya Fire and Life Safety Analyst
  • Jensen Hughes Consultant
  • Fortis Construction Inc. Sr. Project Manager
  • Jason Thompson Structural Engineer
  • Cook, Justin General Contractor
  • Paul Kinley Architect
  • RedBuilt i-joists and open web supplier
Version History
  • Project uploaded by WoodWorks Innovation Network on 10-23-2020
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