Opportunity Center and Children's Center at Stephens Creek Crossing
(LEED Gold Pending)

Portland, OR

Stephens Creek Crossing’s Opportunity Center (OC) and Children’s Center (CC) were designed to be inviting and accessible for residents and community members alike.

The OC utilizes several saturated accent colors to invoke inspiring and collaborative spaces. The use of brightly colored floor materials, furnishings, and light fixtures are complemented by neutral walls, ceilings, and casework.

Signature orange exterior windows and doors provide continuity between the two buildings. Materials such as rubber flooring, carpet tiles with recycled content, antimicrobial solid surfacing, and low-VOC finishes (e.g., paint) were selected for sustainability and durability. The design team incorporated energy-efficient and low carbon footprint products throughout the CC and OC, such as low-flow plumbing fixtures, energy-efficient lighting and appliances, and regionally sourced wood.

For the CC, MWA’s interior design team used pops of color inspired by children’s books to accentuate openings, accent walls, and flooring. Natural wood casework and furnishings provide elements of warmth from one classroom to the next, serving as a neutral backdrop for the children’s artwork. The interior design features a rich variety of spaces for children, parents, and teachers to interact. The exterior features a courtyard playground and a covered outdoor play area in case of inclement weather.

The CC’s donor boards and signage were inspired by children’s wood puzzles. An aluminum art screen partially encloses the outdoor covered play area, casting playful shadows. MWA worked closely with the artists to fully integrate their work into the architecture.

The CC’s and OC’s need for daylighting, sunshading, and outside views influenced the design and placement of windows, roof eaves, and canopies. Both buildings create strong relationships between the inside and adjacent exterior spaces. The design team placed openings and chose finishes to help ease the transition between indoors and outdoors.

Client: Home Forward
Completion: 2014
Award: American Institute of Architects Portland, Mayor’s Award for Design Excellence

"It is inviting to the people that live there and the people that will visit. More importantly, they created a neighborhood there. This, to me, is one of the best examples of how you can create community in new projects."
- Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Photos: Thomas Harris