ZGF and Leo A Daly Chosen for Portland Medical Center Design

By Eric Althoff

PORTLAND, Ore.—ZGF Architects of Portland and Leo A Daly of Omaha, Neb., have been selected jointly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to upgrade and expand the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Oregon’s largest city. The clinic is located on Marquam Hill adjacent to Oregon Health & Science University. Its location on an elevated bit of land will pose some topographical challenges during the construction, the firms note.

Renovation and expansion work will include a new specialty care clinic, seismic upgrades in the earthquake-prone “Pacific Rim” city, as well as new garages and utility work to be installed in phases.

The project work will happen over a decade at the 672,370-square-foot hospital. Work will entail a likely upgrade to the ceramic tile exterior and seismic retrofitting to the 137,714-square-foot administration/research lab building. Other work will include structured parking as well as upgrading or replacing the facility’s central utility plant.

The VA project marks a return of sorts for ZGF, which jointly designed the medical facility for veterans on Marquam Hill over three decades ago in a collaboration with fellow architect SOM. ZGF’s Portland offices employ 270 people.

In a statement, Josh Theodore, EDAC, global health practice leader with Leo A Daly, said that providing high-quality care to veterans requires, first and foremost, what he called “exceptional design.”

“Our team provides over 1,500 design professionals to fulfill our personal commitment to outstanding service and responsible management of VA resources, budget and schedule,” Theodore said.

“This joint venture team combines the perfect mix of local knowledge, healthcare experience and creativity to meet the Portland VA’s mission to deliver uplifting healing environments that will improve the lives of Veterans and the operations of the campus,” added Karl Sonnenberg, AIA, ACHA, and partner with ZGF.

Leo A Daly’s previous healthcare work has included rebuilding the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in Biloxi, Mississippi, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The firm has also performed a seismic retrofit of the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center.

The VA Portland Health Care System (VAPORHCS) reports that it provides 950,000 outpatient veteran visits each year in both northern Oregon and southwest Washington.