Concordia University George R. White Library & Learning Center

The LEED Gold-certified library and learning center is adjacent to a single-family residential neighborhood in NE Portland. At nearly 74,000 SF, the three-story library and multi-classroom building is the largest building on campus, holds twice the volume of the old library, and more than doubles the amount of classroom space on campus. Mackenzie’s project team collaborated with the University’s Executive Committee, staff, faculty, students, and neighborhood community groups to develop a program and design for this project that was sensitive to the residential context. Beyond the building, additional campus upgrades include a new central quad with grass amphitheater and campanile and associated site improvements.

The library's first floor opens into a large, two-story main reading room where a glass curtain wall provides abundant natural light and expansive views of the campus green. A grand cast-in-place concrete staircase connects the three floors. Also on the first floor are a coffee bar, community room, circulation and reference desk, and library storage and staff offices. The second and third floors contain library stacks, classrooms, group study rooms, six academic centers, computer labs, conference rooms, and a sound-proofed studio.

Classroom features include: an access flooring system that allows easier electrical reconfiguration; light controls that adjust the lighting levels within the building to account for exterior sunlight levels; a sound-proofed Center for Excellence in Learning & Teaching (CELT) Studio; and computer-integrated classrooms with SMART Boards. Our designers, after a comprehensive interview with the director of the nursing program, also incorporated spaces that foster a hands-on learning environment that simulates patient bedside care. Through the incorporation of these design features, the Concordia University mission to foster competence and compassion is further emphasized and integrated throughout the learning center.