“The varying panel sizes and finishes give the station texture and depth, while dramatically brightening the space. Coupled with the new lighting, our design with Neolith’s three different shades of white completely transformed the station. Through this process, I’ve learned that Neolith can be installed in just about any configuration.”
Associate Partner, ZGF Architects
Located underneath the Oregon Zoo, the Washington Park Tri-Met station is a bustling hub for visitors traveling across Portland. It is the only completely underground station in the Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) system, and at 260 feet below the surface, it is the deepest transit station in the world.
ZGF Architects originally designed the station, which opened in 1998. The same firm returned in the fall of 2017 to refresh and re-clad the transit hub, with the goal of brightening the space and alleviating the feeling of being so far underground.
For a public mass transit system, graffiti and vandalism are big concerns. ZGF needed a surfacing material that was easy to clean and durable enough to withstand high-traffic and everyday wear.
Neolith Sintered Stone is color-stable, low-maintenance and non-porous, making it extremely hygienic, and resistant to heat, scratching, staining and harsh chemicals
ZGF wanted to put Neolith to the test before they specified it for the project. The team took samples to their office and defaced them with permanent marker and spray paint, let them sit in the sun for two months and then cleaned them with chemical cleaners and abrasive pads.
The results spoke for themselves. Neolith’s non-porous, easy to clean surface, effortlessly passed the test.
With the right surfacing product selected for the new cladding, ZGF was ready to make their vision a reality. The firm chose a selection of Neolith Arctic White, Iron Frost, and Nieve Satin designs in 6 mm thickness.
During construction, the station had to remain operational, so the installation process was carefully executed. Each of the 696 cut-to-size panels were fabricated on-site and installed in a mosaic pattern throughout the elevator lobby and train tunnel entrance using a hidden chemical adhesive bonding agent.