Photo of Sherwood Center for the Arts
Photo of Sherwood Center for the Arts
Photo of Sherwood Center for the Arts
Photo of Sherwood Center for the Arts
Photo of Sherwood Center for the Arts
Photo of Sherwood Center for the Arts

Sherwood Center for the Arts

A Community Arts Center with Sherwood Soul

"There's nothing like doing arts for a community, especially a small community—it brings people together in a way nothing else will. This is a long time coming for Sherwood. " -Maggie Chapin, Former Sherwood Center for the Arts Manager Sherwood’s significant growth in recent years has led to a multi-million-dollar investment in Old Town, the town’s historic center. Our team first delivered a master plan for a 6-acre parcel that expanded Old Town and created the Sherwood Cannery Square PUD, including an architectural pattern book to guide future developments. The Arts Center was the next step in aiding the community in their family-oriented, forward-thinking approach. Inspired by Sherwood’s commitment to make Old Town a success, we designed a new mixed-use community arts center to gather the people of Sherwood together in celebration of the arts and life’s milestone moments. The 16,000 sq. ft., multi-purpose venue integrates Old Town context, but also presents a fresh, modern take on a masonry civic structure. The Sherwood Center for the Arts sets the stage for all future commercial and residential developments in the area.

Sherwood, Oregon
  • 2 stories
  • 16890 sq. ft.
  • Completed in 2015

Cultural , Civic


Architecture: Murray Jenkins

Interiors: Leah Wheary

Architecture Story

Bringing A City’s Dream to Life

City leaders in Sherwood had dreamed of a center for the arts and community events for 15 years before we helped make it a reality. Finally, with the perfect city collection of leaders, full support from the mayor, a passionate steering committee, and multiple bond funds to realize the project, our team led an approach that would fit their budget and designed a space to meet the collective needs of the community for generations to come. To create a collective reflection of Sherwood’s personality and community needs, we facilitated an inclusive design process that considered the full range of project stakeholders. The local school, for one, needed a space for their blossoming theatre community to develop and showcase professional quality productions. Placing it in Old Town reinforced Sherwood’s identity as an urban center and viable destination for local businesses. Our design provides plenty of space for performances and events to bring the community together. The center seats 392 for performances with 75% telescopic seating, and up to 248 for banquets. Two classrooms provide space for classes, training, and meetings, and a small kitchen serves concessions for catered events. Live-edge wood benches and wood trim throughout warm the spaces and give a nod to Sherwood’s industrial foundations in logging. Exposed steel and masonry echo the site’s history as processing plant for shipping fruit on the Portland rail line. The mixed-use and multi-function nature of the Sherwood Center for the Arts ensures that both current and future generations have space to gather and celebrate the arts and life’s milestone moments. It integrates itself into the Old Town context, but also presents a fresh, modern take on a masonry civic structure. The building is a series of carefully crafted boxes that nestle around the main hall to manage the scale. The statement color palette of orange-red-tan-brown is both inviting and striking—a prelude to the art inside. Ground-level retail provides a place for people to shop in the historic downtown. A small plaza creates an open, inviting place for people to enter the main building. People walk under a wide canopy outside into a light-filled lobby and gallery space. High north-facing windows honor historic Old Town structures and fill the Lobby/Gallery with natural light for art exhibits and events. The first major production held by the local school in the new center was a production of Mary Poppins. The thrill of the new, professional-quality space brought over 80 people (an enormous amount, at the time) to participate in the first opening night. They took advantage of every inch of the center, a trend that continues to this day.


Interior Story

Bringing People Together

"We didn't want to build a building that would only be used six times a year.” -Sherwood City Manager Joseph Gall Sherwood’s Community Center is designed for variety. It’s a vibrant gathering space that’s continuously teeming with people and activity, from performances to banquets, art exhibits to workshops. The Main Hall is an open space where performances and events take place. This area echoes Sherwood’s industrial past with wood-trimmed panels that appear to be dropped into the room to frame the stage. Angled framing walls, perforated decking in the ceiling, and treatment panels behind fabric on the side walls improve the acoustics. Down to the smallest detail, we designed for the performers on stage and after the curtain call. They’ll hear cheers and applause just inches away, thanks to a flat floor design, perfect for close-up seating. Behind stage, the make-up and Green Room have movable tables, changing stalls, open closets and cubbies for clothes, and a sink for clean-up. The art gallery is the heart of the center. The community can celebrate its local artists and see their work displayed on a distinctive masonry wall in the space. The main lobby and two internal hallways also have adjustable track lighting and an art display system to showcase community artwork.