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Midland Library

Portland, Oregon

Midland Library

Portland, Oregon

“These community members deserve a place that is wholly unique to them--a space that brings beauty and joy to their lives every day. And with this incredible renovated library, Midland can be that place for them."

Vailey Oehlke, Multnomah County Director of Libraries

The renovation and addition to Midland Library, originally constructed in 1995, infuses architecture with art, connecting aesthetically and culturally with its diverse East Portland communities. 

For this vibrant community amenity we actively collaborated with Colloqate, who led the project’s community engagement and concept design efforts, to give the community ownership of the library’s design. By utilizing a Design Justice approach and leaning in to community design advocates with deep local connections, the project aims to bridge cultural divides and elevate underserved voices.  

The revitalized Midland Library embraces a “weave” concept, where a range of stories and lived experiences are shared in a series of communal spaces. Guided by Multnomah County Library’s mission to put people and communities first, the re-envisioned program responds to the heard needs of patrons with flexible workshop areas, expanded community meeting spaces, a new children’s library, a dedicated teen area, a quiet reading room, and a variety of seating and activity zone options. Angled walls and soffits knit old and new spaces together into a cohesive central area housing the main collection. 

Working with the Regional Arts and Cultural Council, Midland Library forges new opportunities for local BIPOC artists to feature their work. Inside, a community gallery displays local artists’ work, and a “gathering circle” seating area leverages art to honor storytelling and celebrations. Outside, a custom-printed exterior canopy with tree-inspired columns creates a distinctive renewed identity for the library while drawing patrons toward the new centralized entry point.  

A range of outdoor seating options allows patrons to engage with the library before entering in. The overall design promotes transparency and collective well-being while preserving views and strengthening the library’s connection to Midland Park. 


24,000sf renovation; 6,000sf addition


Colloqate Design (Design Architect)

Colloqate Design (Community Engagement)

Equilibrium Engineers

Vega Civil Engineering


Arris Consulting


The Bookin Group