Knight Cancer Institute Research Building, Oregon

Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU) Knight Cancer Institute built a new research building at South Waterfront district in south-west Portland, Oregon, US.


Cancer research building


South Waterfront District, Portland, Oregon, US

Construction Started

June 2016


September 2018


Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU) Knight Cancer Institute built a new research building at South Waterfront district in south-west Portland, Oregon, US.

The facility will accommodate up to 650 scientists, physicians and administrators focusing on early cancer detection, computational biology, and immuno-oncology.

Construction of the facility commenced in June 2016 and was completed in September 2018.

Knight Cancer Institute and Immunovia announced collaboration in October 2015 to confirm, validate and commercialise blood tests for the early diagnosis of cancer. The institute also reached a collaboration agreement with Cancer Research UK in December 2015 to accelerate early cancer detection research.

Knight Cancer Institute research building design features

The building’s design was aimed at bringing collaboration and interaction. It features shared spaces and wet and dry research laboratories, including small-group, informal workspaces to allow researchers to undertake reflective and privately focused work. The laboratories are designed to receive lighting and solar control.

The design also creates social opportunities, with a central kitchen, a lounge, and a casual seating area. The exterior balconies and rooftop terrace provide views of the Willamette River and the Cascade Mountains. The building also includes administrative offices and a car parking area.

The environmentally sustainable elements have been incorporated into the building with an aim to achieve LEED platinum certification.

Knight Cancer Institute’s research facility details

The seven-storey research facility has a total floor space of 320,000ft², situated to the north of the collaborative life sciences building on the OHSU campus.

Research and wet lab spaces are featured from floors two to five, while the ground floor contains a 200-seat auditorium, meeting rooms, and a conference centre. It also includes spaces for street-level retail, a café, and other amenities.

Two floors of the building are used to house the Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research Centre. This provides multidisciplinary research teams with a collaborative environment to perform early detection research under the guidance of nanotechnology expert Sadik Esener.

Construction and financing

A ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of Knight Cancer Institute’s research building was attended by Oregon State Governor Kate Brown, doctors, and cancer survivors in June 2016.

The construction crew used interactive 3D building information modelling (BIM).

Oregon’s State Legislature passed a bill to finance $200m for the project in 2014 as part of the $1bn Knight Cancer Challenge initiated by Phil Knight.

The research facility was built at a cost of $190m, $160m of which was funded by the Oregon State Legislature with the remaining provided by the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

Contractors involved with Knight Cancer Institute’s research facility

The designs for the Knight Cancer Institute research building were provided by architect SRG Partnership.

The joint venture of McCarthy Building Companies and Andersen Construction (McCarthy/Andersen) secured the contract for the construction of the building.

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