Mountainside High School

Beaverton, OR

Mountainside High School

Beaverton, OR

They are an inclusive and responsive team of listeners who transform ideas into topnotch designs. The school is widely admired for its distinctive looped circulation system, natural daylighting, and views to both exterior spaces from within the building.

Leslie Imes, Beaverton School District

Mountainside High School is a comprehensive secondary school for 2,200 students set on 47 acres of rural land in Beaverton, OR.  Made possible by one of the largest bonds in Oregon history, the school is the cornerstone of a new neighborhood about 15 miles from downtown Portland.  The protection of existing wetlands, combined with the land required for multiple athletic fields, constrained the building’s footprint and reinforced the idea of a compact school with a communal center.

The school’s defining concept is a loop, stacking instead of spreading the program and linking nearly all formal and informal academic spaces. Community space including the gym, theatre and commons, are located close to the front door to ease access, streamline wayfinding, and enliven the entrance with frequent and varied activity. Classrooms are positioned along the building’s exterior walls to maximize access to natural light.

The loop forms a generous courtyard at the heart of the school, which functions as outdoor classroom space and an extension of the commons.  Taking advantage of existing site topography, the courtyard opens to the south and is edged by cascading storm water treatment facilities, creating an educational display of one of the school’s many sustainable design features.

The brick exterior features a custom variegated pattern comprised of five different brick colors and textures, arranged in a gradient that lightens in tone as it moves upward. In contrast, vertically stacked bricks in a parchment hue feature alternating glazed and unglazed finishes, bringing bright definition to the school entrance and central courtyard.

Readily available for community events and doubling as an emergency shelter, Mountainside boldly projects a forward-thinking design that creates a long-term civic asset for one of the Portland region’s fastest growing districts.




Hoffman Construction
Walker Macy Landscape Architecture