Asian Health & Service Center

  • area / size 40,600 sqft
  • Completed 2018
  • Holst Architecture designed the Asian Health & Service Center to provide a full range of healthcare services for patients in Portland, Oregon.

    The new headquarters for the non-profit Asian Health and Service Center (AHSC) houses clinic, office, service, and community spaces on the northwest corner of SE 91st Street and Foster Road in the Lents neighborhood. AHSC provides a full range of healthcare services, including healthy food programs, exercise and health education programs, as well as professional behavioral and Eastern medical services. The new permanent center will allow AHSC to expand and add new programs to provide cultural and language specific preventive and integrated health care for both Asians and the broader Lents community. The new location also provides excellent transit access.

    Inspired by a multitude of lanterns floating into the night sky, the Center’s design plays with layers and light on the exterior and interiors. The yellow metal screen wall on the south façade gives the building distinct character, visual texture, and intriguing sun/shade patterns in the interior spaces. The glass-enclosed stair tower at the main entrance makes vertical circulation through the building visible to the outside. At night, the building’s lantern-like glow below the wood-lined cornice overhang makes it a visual icon in the neighborhood. On the interior, a lobby rock garden, wood screens, and a palette of warm greys with pops of red unite traditional Asian elements with contemporary design. Durable flooring and finish choices support ease of maintenance. The concrete and steel frame enables flexible interior spaces and meets the long-term needs of the community center.

    The building’s organization reflects AHSC’s tiered service model: the top floor welcomes a wide variety of community activities, the second floor houses staff and volunteers focused on general health services and outreach, and the ground floor provides personal consultation and clinic services.

    The third floor’s public spaces include a 6,000 square foot multifunction hall as well as kitchen and gathering areas used for exercise classes and lunch meal programs. A wood paneled indoor/outdoor terrace with views to Mount Hood overlooks a healing garden below. The circulation of visitors to the third floor from the main entry contributes to an active and pedestrian-friendly Foster Road. With service visits expected to quickly exceed 50,000 annually, AHSC will contribute to a vibrant, active Lents Town Center.

    The AHSC staff and clientele support business activity and bring a significant capital investment to the Lents Community. Asians make up 25% of the project census tract’s population and 15% of the surrounding neighborhood population. Bringing AHSC to this transit oriented Urban Renewal Area will continue the City of Portland’s efforts to support and honor the unique international culture of Lents.

    In addition, the new Center locates more than fifty living wage jobs in Lents, with employment opportunities ranging from entry-level workforce to healthcare professionals. AHSC has also established new business partnerships in Lents, including purchasing over 500 meals per week from local Asian restaurants for its healthy foods program.

    Design: Holst Architecture
    Photography: Christian Columbres