Post image for Hillsdale Branch Library

Hillsdale Branch Library

Project Info

Multnomah County Library
Portland, Oregon
12,000 sf
Completed in 2004


The Hillsdale Branch Library is one of four new branch libraries that Hacker designed for Multnomah County. Located on the edge of the commercial center for a residential community, the library’s cedar shell reflects the nearby wooden houses and clerestory windows banding the top transform the building into a nighttime beacon. The main staircase leads from the corner entrance to the reading room above, where colored glass panels lining the wall provide beautiful light patterns throughout the building. The reading room is defined by alternating glass and wood walls, framing views out to the valley while forming bookcases to the interior. The building’s sustainable design elements include natural daylighting, the use of materials with recycled content, native vegetation with no installed irrigation and bioswales for stormwater management.

Sustainable Design Highlights:
Sustainable Design Highlights:

The first of Multnomah County’s projects to implement the County’s new LEED goals, the Hillsdale Branch Library has earned a Gold certification. Sustainable design features include:

  • Raised access floor system for air distribution
  • “Energy Star” roof coating to reduce solar heat gain
  • Materials from the prior library’s deconstruction were recycled
  • Landscaping features drought- and pest-resistant native vegetation and a stormwater planter bioswale for stormwater management and reclamation
  • Certified wood was used for the internally exposed wood deck of the ceiling and building structure
  • All materials contained at least 20% post-consumer recycled content and 46% of the materials were locally manufactured
  • As a result of the natural daylight, light sensors and a low-E glass thermal pane system, energy use is reduced by 21%

    With sustainable development becoming the standard for public buildings, this new library serves as a strong civic and environmentally responsible symbol for the community.
  • Awards

    AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Citation Award
    AIA Portland Chapter Merit Award
    AIA Portland Chapter People’s Choice Award
    AIA Portland Chapter Unbuilt Merit Award