St. Andre Bessette Catholic Church

AWB-Oregon helped St. Andre Bessette Catholic Church improve public areas in the chapel. The project included updating the second floor kitchen, reconfiguring office and program spaces in the basement, and adding a unisex, accessible restroom on the first floor. Also known as "the downtown chapel," St. Andre Bessette provides services to poor, homeless, addicted, and mentally ill people in Portland's Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood.


Outside In Tattoo Removal Station

In 2009, AWB developed design documents for a tattoo removal station within Outside In, a Portland social service agency dedicated to helping homeless youth and other marginalized people move toward self-sufficiency. For this project AWB partnered with local architect Lorraine Guthrie who prepared the permit drawings pro bono.

Bata Atha Grade School

  In 2005, AWB Oregon assembled a team of volunteers to design and construct a grade school in Bata Atha, Sri Lanka. They were fortunate to arrive in Sri Lanka with adequate funding and connections to high-level government officials who facilitated site selection. The team leveraged local contributions of labor and cement for the reinforced concrete and masonry building. They worked with a well-known Sri Lankan architect and village leaders to develop the design and start the construction process.

Cambodia Sustainable Housing Competition


In Fall 2012, Architects Without Borders - Oregon sponsored two design teams to participate in the Building Trust International Design Competition.The objective of the competition was to design a prototype home for a family of six in rural Cambodia for less than $2000. The winning design will be built by Habitat for Humanity- Cambodia.

AWB-Oregon's two teams: Team 1, Eric Nielsen, Abraham Rodriguez, Peter Barich,Copeland Downs Team 2, Tom Joyce, Marc Becker, Ivan Ponce and Khang Tran

AWB connected the design teams to Mony Mao and the Cambodian American Community of Oregon (CACO) for consultation on Cambodian cultural norms, geography and local building practices.

The teams submitted their projects in January 2013 along with more than 600 other competitors. Winners of the competition were announced in March. The winning entries may be viewed at

Sabin Neighborhood Pocket Park

During the summer of 2011 AWB Oregon team members met with Sabin Community Association leaders to develop a unified design scheme for Portland's Sabin Triangle pocket park. This effort followed the community's response to an earlier AWB design charrette in May, and new designs were presented to the community on August 2 during a neighborhood gathering at the park.  Attended at various times by more than 40 residents, the presentation featured potluck food, music and these images below of the new park proposal.

The general design radiates from each end of the park triangle through arced patterns of permeable paving and bioswale planters.  These are shown in both a cleaner, open configuration and then again in a more full-featured set that includes community sculpture and additional planter seating.

Congo Solar

This demonstration project will be carried out in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a country that has been devastated by war and socioeconomic collapse for the last two decades. Working for an healthy and prosperous community, Global Health Oregon has partnered with Architects Without Borders-Oregon on a solar-powered system intended to provide energy to health clinics and pilot test a disease surveillance system (DSS) that may serve as a model for several global health initiatives.  AWB will provide design services for an prefabricated off-grid solar power system.  It is the goal of the design to provide a system that can be quickly deployed by the team for four to five clinics in the Congo.

buildOn Haiti Prototype School

For rural locations in Haiti, AWB-Oregon designed a prototype elementary school consisting of three classrooms intended to accommodate as many as 50 children per room.  Nonprofit buildOn has completed a dozen schools using this new design which emphasizes structural integrity, natural light, and natural ventilation. AWB continues to assist buildOn in Haiti by devising seismic upgrades for schools built before buildOn began using the new AWB design.

Indigenous Education Foundation Of Tanzania (IEFT)-Africa

The Indigenous Education Foundation of Tanzania (IEFT) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that works alongside local communities to provide quality, affordable secondary education to under-served indigenous children in rural Tanzania. IEFT uses a community-collaborative based approach with support and cooperation from community elders, women’s groups, and student’s families. IEFT has requested the services of Architects Without Borders-Oregon in the design and construction of an education building to include a library and computer lab as well as a girl’s dormitory. IEFT is committed to the practice of sustainable building and will be utilizing solar power and rainwater harvesting in their buildings. To learn more about the Indigenous Education Foundation of Tanzania, visit

S.H.A.C.S.- Orphanage & Education Center-Haiti

SHACS is an organization that promotes Haitian arts and culture in the Northwest providing development resources, social support, education and civic engagement opportunities to the local community. SHACS is working to build an orphanage and education center in Croix-des-Bouquets, east of Port-au-Prince. This complex would include sleeping, kitchen and bathroom facilities, a small clinic, educational classrooms, and recreation areas. The goal is start with housing and supporting 50 kids and staff and phase out the growth of the project as money and funding become available.

To learn more about the Society for Haitian Arts, Culture and Social Support, visit

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Haiti-Confined Masonry

A large team of AWB volunteers, working with local engineer Craig Totten, has updated a booklet on confined masonry strategies for Haiti.  This manual was put to use hours after it was completed – see the photos in our gallery!  Masonry training seminars will be held in Port au Prince throughout the summer and fall.  The AWB team will be making some refinements to the booklet and will integrate full house plans into a larger publishing effort in conjunction with Haiti Rewired. [nggallery id=4]

AWB Confined Masonry Handbook Aug2 2010

Tryon Life Farm

Tryon Life Community Farm ( is a sustainable living/farming community bordering Tryon Creek State Park right here in Portland. As a non-profit organization, it is their mission to create a model environment for urban ecology, while providing educational opportunities and outreach for all ages and backgrounds. AWB-Oregon has worked with TLC Farm in the past on various building improvements, including the main barn. The current team (Jessica Pearre, Ian Bowen and Stacey Schimmelman) has asssisted in making site access improvements for fire and emergency vehicles, creating more of a “one-way” traffic pattern, controlling and directing water movement over the road as well as adding a limited amount of parking to accommodate visitors. [nggallery id=3]

Shoe Revolt

Shoe Revolt, based in Beaverton, Oregon is attempting to build rescue centers for exploited women and children.More than 240,000 children and women in the United States are at risk of being trafficked each year alone.  These exploited children and women have limited resources, and usually no place to go if they are rescued out of the sex trade. AWB will begin the design process by providing building sketches that will include day care services, treatment facilities, housing, and businesses to employ the women in the program.  While AWB-Oregon cannot take the project through completion, we will help Shoe Revolt's Build 51 initiative with schematic programming and renderings to be used to raise funding for construction.

To learn more about Shoe Revolt's Build 51 project please contact or visit