Catlin Gabel School is one of the oldest and most respected private schools in Oregon, serving students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Allied Works collaborated with faculty and school leaders to plan, design and build a new multi-disciplinary arts education facility on their campus Portland’s West Hills. Catlin Gabel aspired to expand and improve the quality of their existing facilities as well as elevate the importance of the arts within its core curriculum.

Set on a hillside at one of the gateways to campus, the two-level Creative Arts Center creates an “arts quad” with neighboring buildings that provides space for small-group activities and rehearsals as well as performances and public events. On the plaza level, an open gallery showcases the work of students, and leads to visual arts studios, each filled with diffuse, north-facing natural light. A double height corridor and feature stair provides daylight and strong visual connection from upper to lower level, where additional studios and spaces for music and theater arts are located. Built into the hillside, a multi-form, black box theater creates new opportunities for students to refine their craft, and for the entire campus community to come together.