Astoria Column Visitors Center

Project Info

Astoria, Oregon
Design completed in 2005

Overlooking Astoria, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean, stands the 125-foot Astoria Column. Built in 1927, the Column is adorned with artwork depicting the settlers’ journey across the United States and the settlement of the West. The Friends of the Astoria Column selected Hacker to design an interpretive center adjacent to the landmark.

A primary design challenge was honoring the Column without interrupting the 360 degree view from the hilltop. As a solution, the design team partially embedded the structure into the hillside, allowing its green roof to function as a landscaped terrace. Upon entering the building, visitors can visually reconnect with the Column through a skylight in the exhibit space. The result is a building that will respond to the site in a quiet and respectful way, while offering understanding of the place and its significance in our nation’s history.