OMSI Announces Master Planning Team

Design firm Snøhetta selected to lead the development of a long-term strategy for OMSI’s 16-acre riverfront property

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) announced today that it has selected the design team to lead the master planning process of its 16-acre riverfront campus. International design firm, Snøhetta, will provide strategic leadership for the team, working to develop a long-term vision for the future of the site. The goal of the Master Plan will be to provide a market-driven strategy that outlines the best economic and environmental uses of OMSI’s physical property while highlighting the museum’s work as a cultural touchstone, science education resource, and trailhead to connect the community to learning and skill-building opportunities that equip them for 21st-century jobs. Multiple firms, including many local entities, will be part of the planning team led by Snøhetta and will play important roles in the comprehensive development of the OMSI District Master Plan:

--ECONorthwest who will study the economic conditions and develop a market-driven planning evaluation,

--Buro Happold to develop new, innovative ideas for environmental sustainability and infrastructure,

--Spencer Consultants to lead on local planning approaches,

--DKS to consult on traffic and parking strategies,

--KPFF for their civil engineering expertise, and

--Mayer/Reed who will consult on landscape architecture.

“We were fortunate to have had so many qualified firms submit proposals for this planning process, and we’re delighted to announce the selection of Snøhetta to lead the Master Plan team,” said OMSI President and CEO Nancy Stueber. “It’s important to us that we identify the unique ways we can use our property to create a vibrant and engaging place for the community and for science learning, and this collaborative team will help us build a vision for the OMSI District that is both dynamic and achievable.”

“We look forward to bringing the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry closer in connection to its place, people and visitors,” said Craig Dykers, Founding Partner of Snøhetta. “Together with the museum's administration, we will certainly see OMSI blossom into a place that is more resourceful and attractive in the years to come.  Portland's future is intimately linked with the pursuit of education, a greater understanding of the sciences, and our relationship to the environment. To be a part of this journey together with OMSI is a rare opportunity to shape a larger component of society.”

Snøhetta is renowned for its global portfolio working with cultural institutions and developing vibrant social spaces. Their projects include the recently opened San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Expansion in California, the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York City, the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo, Norway, the Ryerson University Student Learning Centre in Toronto, Canada, among others. The OMSI District Master Plan is one of a series of planning projects Snøhetta is leading in the Portland Metro Area, including the Willamette Falls Riverwalk in Oregon City, and the future home of the James Beard Public Market in Portland. Additionally, this summer the firm partnered with The Center for Architecture in Portland to host its first full-scale exhibition of their work in North America, featuring sketches, renderings, and models which offered a glimpse into the team’s creative process.

"Portland remains one of the most inviting cities in America,” said Michelle Delk, Partner and Director of Landscape Architecture with Snøhetta. “After many years of industrialization, the city is awakening its waterfront and natural surroundings more than ever before. The city’s food culture, social activities and environmental initiatives are helping create a new attitude along the waterfront, and OMSI's new Master Plan will contribute to the exciting and evolving character of the city and state."

Work on the OMSI Master Plan will begin this month and is expected to continue into the spring of 2017. In addition to the fully integrated team, the project will feature opportunities to gather feedback from diverse communities including OMSI members, neighbors, partners, and other area stakeholders, including city and state agencies, in order to create a holistic plan that takes into account future opportunities and needs in the area.  

“As this project moves forward, one of our top priorities is making sure the local community is thoughtfully considered and involved in the process,” said Stueber. “This includes welcoming the public to share ideas and offer feedback, which we’ll be inviting them to do in the weeks ahead.”

In addition to creating a center of excellence and sustainability for the region, the wider district will also serve as an anchor to the city’s “Innovation Quadrant,” and feature a mix of uses and jobs, including growing creative industries, education facilities, and research opportunities, as well as visitor attractions, open space, and improved access to the river. The plan will also leverage the major investment in mass transportation by TriMet through the OMSI/SE Water Ave station and Tilikum Crossing Bridge, which have connected the district to the greater Portland Metro Area like never before.

Images and photos detailing the OMSI campus can be found below. For more information about OMSI please visit To learn more about Snøhetta visit


About OMSI

Founded in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is one of the nation’s leading science museums, a world-class tourist attraction, and an award-winning educational resource for the kid in each of us. OMSI operates the largest museum-based outdoor science education program in the country and provides traveling and community outreach programs that bring science learning opportunities to schools and community organizations in every county in Oregon and throughout the region. OMSI is located at 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, OR 97214. For general information, call 503.797.4000 or visit

About Snøhetta
Snøhetta values human interaction. All of the studio’s work strives to enhance a sense of place, identity and relationship to others and the physical spaces they inhabit, whether natural or human-made. For over 25 years, Snøhetta has designed some of the world’s most notable public and cultural projects. Snøhetta kick-started its career in 1989 with the competition-winning entry for the new library of Alexandria, Egypt. This was later followed by the commission for the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo, the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at the World Trade Center in New York City, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Expansion in California among many others. Since its inception, the practice has maintained its original trans-disciplinary approach, integrating architectural, landscape and interior design in all of its projects.