A highly successful and, dare I say, architecturally brilliant and beautifully built facility.
-Ted Wheeler, Portland Mayor
Central City Concern, a local nonprofit founded in 1979, serves adults and families in the Portland area experiencing homelessness, poverty, and addiction. Embodying this mission, Blackburn Center not only gives people a chance for housing, healing, employment, it gives residents and patients the same comforts others experience daily.
Our vision for Blackburn Center: Help people heal through comfort, community, and safety. Through home.
The gable, which almost every child recognizes as “home,” became our design principle, reflected in Blackburn Center’s instantly recognizable form. The gable is far more than an aesthetic decision, though: Blackburn Center closes the gap faced by most supportive housing projects, where housing is located blocks or miles apart from mental and physical health services—making consistent healing inaccessible for residents. Our design integrates housing and healing under a single gabled roof.
Blackburn Center’s layout reflects patients’ journeys to healing. The ground floor is a commons area for check-in, registration, and services, including a pharmacy and teaching kitchen. Level Two is the main clinic, serving the entire housing program and close to fragile patients on Level Three. Levels Four and Five are single-room occupancy (SRO) with shared services and facilities. Apartments on Level Six hold permanent housing, supporting people nearly ready to live on their own.
Even the climate response system focuses on health. Interior modules have been separated, creating open spaces for light and air. Exterior landscapes are easy to reach for therapy and meditation. Solar panels and solar shades offsets energy use to reduce CCC’s utility bills. Slot windows maximize light.
Finally, Blackburn Center is on the path to Earth Advantage Platinum certification. It incorporates resiliency and green building principles to provide a healthy environment for its occupants.