Navigation Center

Oregon Harbor of Hope

The Navigation Center serves as a prototype to address the houseless crisis in Portland; offering resources to help people living on the streets stabilize their lives, access essential support services and secure housing.

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As an economical, temporary and easily replicable facility, the Navigation Center utilizes a pre-manufactured, fabric-wrapped “Sprung Structure” rooted in the typology of tents which provides basic shelter. Working within the constraints of the Sprung system, the team inserted storefront windows, an entry vestibule and skylights to create a light-filled environment that uplifts the spirit of visitors and staff.

Highlighted by light-colored wood, the central desk area warms the space and serves as a greeting area at the heart of the facility. Using donated furniture, fixtures and materials, our team combined all to look as they were intended to work together seamlessly. Light, warm and natural materials—paired with soft accents—create a more humane feel, where people can relax and find a better sense of home. From open community spaces to private exam and consultation rooms, the internal spaces are light and airy, accented by the simple base of finishes for the cabinetry used throughout. Together, the low-cost, easy to maintain materials create an inviting environment focused on healing, safety and a sense of community.

The Navigation Center design strives for simplicity to create a spacious, calming and uplifting place of dignity that serves our most vulnerable citizens.

Size: 9,500 sf
Location: Portland, OR
Stats: 100 beds

2019, AIA Portland, Merit Design Award in the Built Category
2019, IIDA Oregon, Design Excellence Impact Award
2019, IIDA Oregon, Honorable Mention, Civic Category
2019, Portland Business Journal, CRE Transformer Award

Located on a brownfield site in Northwest Portland, the Navigation Center enhances the public realm with a high level of transparency—residents and staff connect to nature through strategically placed windows and outdoor gathering spaces.

Realized through a public-private partnership, the Center provides an affordable and efficient prototype for low-barrier transitional housing.

The 9,500 sf facility offers 100 residents a safe haven for up to 90 days—designed to give vulnerable, houseless people access to a safe, humane place to dwell; a supportive community in which to participate; and the essential services and access to resources needed to stabilize their lives.