Michael Green Architecture for Oregon State University College of Forestry

Michael Green Architecture is a Canadian architecture studio with an office in Oregon, USA, which recently completed construction of two buildings for Oregon State University. The College of Forestry has ordered the construction of a new building to contain classrooms, computer labs and a large hall created to intersect with the existing Peavy Hall building; the second building, AA “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory (AWP), is a workspace in which to build and test wooden structures up to three stories high, containing the TallWood Design Institute.

In line with Oregon State University’s vision to create a “Dynamic environment of learning, collaboration and research for the management and maintenance of functioning forest ecosystems in the 21st century”, Michael Green involved many departments and groups of future users in the project, aiming to build a project resulting from an exchange of know-how that would be “designed to be a teacher and a living laboratory – something to interact with and learn”.

Peavy Hall, measuring over 7,700 square meters, takes the form of two rectangular three-story buildings, perpendicular and intersecting in a T-shape, integrating an existing part of the campus, Richardson Hall. The building contains around 40 classrooms, computer rooms and laboratories of different sizes, arranged with variable layout partly indoors and partly outdoors to allow teachers to use a variety of approaches. teaching and genuinely involving the students in the lessons. The interiors of the building are made entirely of wood, creating an atmosphere of great warmth and comfort. But the most spectacular part of Peavy Hall is undeniably the double-height entrance hall with large windows alternating with tall glued-laminated timber columns and two monumental wooden staircases located at either end of the long, narrow space. . In addition, the foyer is directly connected to the forest which surrounds it through the large windows and with an arboretum containing a vast collection of plants, “a living classroom for forestry students, community and industry”.

The second building, the Advanced Wood Products Laboratory named after AA “Red” Emmerson, is smaller, but plays the important role of connecting academic knowledge with practical know-how, as it is intended for building elements. and wooden structures. The goal is not only to build the structures but to test them scientifically, with the specific aim of obtaining usage information for technological innovation on the site. The AWP building, measuring over 1,600 square meters, includes construction and testing areas. This building, although simpler, is also almost entirely in wood, with the exception of the floor which had to be particularly resistant due to the stresses to which it will be subjected.
All structures created by Michael Green Architecture are solid wood, using different varieties for columns, floors and reinforcements, including a tilting wall system required due to local seismic activity. The raw material used throughout the resort is Douglas Fir, the Prince of the West Coast Forest, as well as the red alder used in some of Peavy Hall’s coverings.

Another interesting aspect of Michael Green’s project is the concept of the building itself as a teacher. As he says, “As part of the concept of the building as a teacher, the wooden structure is monitored by more than 200 sensors which have been installed throughout the structure to collect data on vertical and horizontal structural movements as well as humidity. . These data will be used for research on the performance of solid wood structures over the life of the building and will inform the future of good practice in solid wood construction. ”

The new Oregon State University College of Forestry buildings also set a high standard for sustainability: in addition to containing a total of 1884 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the wood used, the building is prepared for the installation of ‘a photovoltaic system, and its modular design means that only the damaged parts need to be replaced in the event of an earthquake. In addition, the windows are covered with a film that controls the amount of light and heat that passes, a special system collects rainwater and, last but not least, not only uses part of the forest habitat that surrounds it but contributes to it. . After all, it is fitting that the buildings intended for the education of future forest rulers in Oregon have something to teach them!

Francesco cibati

Location: Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Area: Total: 101,000 ft2 (Peavy Hall: 83,000 ft2; AWP: 18,000 ft2)
Completion: March 2020
Owner Oregon State University
Function: Education, Laboratory
Type: Solid wood construction
Material: Douglas glued laminated timber beams and columns, 5-ply CLT panel + glued laminated timber ribbed floor, concrete composite screed, concrete slab on the ground, locally sourced red alder transformed into Accoya

Michael Green (Senior Manager), Natalie Telewiak (Project Manager + Design Manager), Amanda Reed (Peavy Hall Project Architect), Candice Nichol (AWP Project Architect + Construction Administrator), Mingyuk Chen (Technical Manager + specifications), Maria Mora (Designer), Kyle Elderhorst (Designer), Aleksandra Adamczewska (Designer), Anne Sewell (Administrative support to construction) Former MGA member: Asher DeGroot (Designer), Shea Treacy (Designer), Kelsey Reddekopp ( Interior Designer), Whitney Robinson (Interior Design), Signage + Orientation), Sindhu Mahadevan (Designer), Jacqueline Green (Designer)

Photography Ema Peter (AWP), Josh Partee (Peavy Hall)


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