PSU’s Karl Miller Center wins prestigious American Architecture Award
Author: Erin Merz
Posted: August 27, 2019
 The Karl Miller Center at Portland State University has won a 2019 American Architecture Award, the nation’s highest public award for new architecture and urban planning. Home to The School of Business, the Karl Miller Center was designed by Behnisch Architekten with SRG Partnership and constructed by Skanska.

The Karl Miller Center opened in fall 2017 and achieved LEED Platinum designation in fall 2018, the top category for sustainable construction. Resource-efficient features include water conservation, occupancy sensors and five eco-terraces.

“We are honored to be recognized alongside the architects with this prestigious award,” said PSU Interim President Stephen Percy. “PSU’s commitment to social, economic and environmental sustainability comes to life in the Karl Miller Center. Its strong sense of place has made it a favorite building for many people across our campus and throughout Portland.” 

The building is centered around a bright, five-story glass atrium that is animated with activity. A wide variety of spaces — meeting and study areas, gardens, classrooms, labs, student spaces, faculty and administrative offices, and retail — maximizes connectivity and promotes an inclusive attitude toward learning.
“The Karl Miller Center has greatly enhanced the student experience over the last two years,” said Cliff Allen, dean of The School of Business. “The spaces were thoughtfully designed to foster collaboration and community, two aspects that are critically important on a largely commuter campus.”

Rick (MBA ‘91) and Erika Miller made a lead contribution of $9 million to the re-envisioned building, named in honor of Rick’s grandfather. The $64 million project was funded through state bonds, coupled with private philanthropy. Over 220 individual and corporate donors contributed to this transformational priority.

The Karl Miller Center is one of 105 projects in the nation — and one of only two in Oregon — selected this year by a distinguished group of architects, educators and developers. The American Architecture Awards, founded 25 years ago, are co-presented by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Winners will be celebrated at an awards ceremony in October in Miami, Florida.