Central Catholic High School

Soderstrom Architect’s addition and renovation project at Central Catholic High School was the largest single improvement ever attempted at the 65-year-old school. Adding to the challenge, the school remained open throughout construction. The program included a new media center/library, chapel, student plaza, cafeteria, science labs and an expanded weight room. CCHS’s objective was to produce a top quality, state-of-the-art facility within its current space limitations and tight budget. New spaces needed to be visually consistent with the old and the dignified character of the building preserved. Natural lighting and an interior framework of light-colored structures and walls define interior volume throughout the school, while natural wood tones, artistic textures and rich colors in the carpets and acoustical panels add warmth and interest. In the library, clerestory windows were used on both the north and south sides to introduce natural light. Various carpet patterns were selected to define circulation and separate functions of the library. The cornerstone of the first phase of the project is the new chapel located adjacent to the main entry. The chapel ceiling is a shallow dome lit indirectly to give a sense of infinity in the relatively small space. Light colored wood was selected for the rounded walls to contribute to the sense of spaciousness. Art-glass windows, designed in collaboration with the Archdiocese, architect, and artist, create a spiritual presence, both within the chapel and when viewed from the exterior courtyard.


Central Catholic High School


High school


Addition, Renovation


Portland, Oregon


85,000 SF total


Classrooms, science labs, cafeteria, library, chapel, gymnasium, weight training room, outdoor plaza

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