Creating a Prototype for the Future

Edward J. Ray Hall

Oregon State University ‑ Cascades


Edward J. Ray Hall provides a new learning environment for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math on the OSU-Cascades campus while creating a vibrant student hub with active interior and exterior spaces. Its design elevates the University’s identity in Bend while exemplifying its commitment to sustainability through Net Zero Energy and a structure of regionally sourced mass timber.

size

50,000 sf

location

Bend, OR

year complete

2021

sustainability

Net‑Zero Energy

2022 Honor Award — SARA National Design Awards

2022 Best in Category, Education Category — IIDA Oregon Design Excellence Awards

2022 Award of Merit, Higher Education/Research Category — Engineering News Record Northwest Best Projects Awards

2022 First Place, Secondary Education & Vocational Training Category — DJC Oregon TopProjects

  • contractor

    Swinerton

  • structural engineer

    Catena Consulting Engineers

  • civil engineer

    DOWL

  • Mechanical & Plumbing Engineer

    Affiliated Engineers, Inc.

  • Electrical Engineer

    Samata Consulting Engineers

  • Landscape Architect

    Swift Company

  • Cost Estimator

    JMB Consulting Group

  • Code Consultant

    Code Unlimited

  • Accessibility

    Studio Pacifica

  • Acoustical Engineer

    ABD Engineering and Design

  • Wind Engineer

    CPP

  • Geotechnical Engineer

    Geotechnical Resources, Inc.

Edward J. Ray Hall is the fulfillment of a promise to Central Oregon. Being the first building built on a former pumice mine, the team that brought this project together had an affinity for seeing ambiguity as an opportunity. Jarrod Penttila, Construction Project Manager, OSU - Cascades

Design Concept

Design Sketch

01 / 10

Design Sketch

02 / 10
03 / 10

Programming

04 / 10

Sustainability Strategies

05 / 10

Integration of Design Drivers

06 / 10

Floor Plans

07 / 10

Mass Timber Structure Bay Spacing

08 / 10

Construction Photo

09 / 10

Elevations

10 / 10

A Gateway Building for a Growing Campus

As the first building to engage a 46-acre reclaimed pumice mine acquired by the University for future campus expansion, Edward J. Ray Hall is perched atop its steep rim with panoramic views across the future west campus and to the mountains beyond. The building and its adjacent outdoor spaces step with the topography to create a gateway and link between the existing upper campus and the future development that will occur in and around the bowl of the transformed mine.

A Prototyping Approach

The building was conceived through a prototyping process focused on defining a new type of academic environment that would support a variety of educational activities and functions, promote interdisciplinary collaboration, and embody social equity and sustainability. The concept utilizes a centralized, flexible technology core paired with a modular grid to organize the multiple activity-based space typologies derived from project goals and objectives. The resultant prototype is a scalable, adaptable concept that will serve as the model for future buildings, with the ability to be tailored to each project’s unique opportunities, conditions and location.

Utilizing Mass Timber

The selection of mass timber for the building’s structural system reinforces OSU-Cascades’ robust commitment to sustainability with the use of a locally sourced renewable material and the low-carbon footprint associated with its production. The natural beauty of the timber structure is expressed in the building’s interior, creating a warm, inviting environment for students and faculty and visually connecting the building with the broader regional landscape.

Locally Sourced Renewable Materials

The meaningful use of mass timber at Ray Hall is a plain indicator of the campus’ robust commitment to sustainability, setting the bar for future sustainable design in Bend. By selecting a mass timber structural system and sourcing responsibly—with 40% deriving from restoration timber and 14% from Native-owned and managed forests—the project realized carbon savings equal to removing more than 750 cars from the road. These design practices set an important precedent for how mass timber can and should be used in academic and lab environments, both in Bend and beyond.

Commitment to Sustainability

Edward J. Ray Hall’s east/west orientation and exterior design contribute to the Net Zero Energy-ready target established by the University. Primary façades feature tall windows with a filigree of vertical shading devices tuned to their solar orientation to maximize daylighting and mitigate glare and summer heat gain. A broad horizontal roof plane floating above the mass of the building form accommodates an array of photovoltaics to provide on-site renewable energy for the project.