Corvallis Museum: A Contemporary Tribute to Tradition

The Benton County Historical Society in Corvallis, Oregon has unveiled a captivating Corvallis Museum designed by acclaimed architecture firm Allied Works. This 19,000 square-foot contemporary museum showcases a diverse collection of cultural artifacts, natural history specimens, and archives from Oregon State University.

Strategically located opposite a historic general store and the former territorial capital, the museum’s striking design seamlessly integrates with the surrounding architecture while offering a fresh perspective on the region’s rich heritage.

Modern sleek architecture with glass facades, angular shapes, and metal detailing.
A grand, wood-paneled lobby with a towering moose statue, modern lighting, and a reception desk.
Spacious modern lobby with wooden paneling, artwork, and a mounted moose sculpture.
A modern, open-plan interior with wooden panels, glass railings, and track lighting.
Spacious art gallery with sleek modern architecture, high ceilings, and track lighting.
Contemporary architecture with sleek, angular building facades, large windows, and minimal landscaping.
Modern two-story building with clean, angular lines and large glass panels. Minimal exterior design.
A modern, angular building with glass and metal facade, creating an inviting entrance.

About Corvallis Museum

Preserving History, Inspiring the Future: The Benton County Historical Society Corvallis Museum

In Corvallis, Oregon, the Benton County Historical Society has embarked on a transformative project. After a competitive selection process, they entrusted Allied Works to design a new 19,000-square-foot (1,765-square-meter) museum. This museum will serve as a dynamic hub, showcasing a growing collection of cultural artifacts, natural history specimens, and archives from Oregon State University.

A Contemporary Dialogue with History

Strategically located opposite a 125-year-old general store and the former territorial capital of Oregon, the museum presents a harmonious blend of old and new. Its contemporary design respectfully complements the neighboring historic structures through thoughtful massing, material selection, and meticulous attention to detail.

Inviting the Community In

The museum’s design embraces the street, inviting the public to explore its diverse offerings. Visitors can discover the lobby, exhibit hall, museum store, classroom, event space, and a peaceful public courtyard. Intriguing glimpses into the galleries beckon from the principal cross streets, as projecting bays and windows extend over the sidewalk.

Curating Connections, Fostering Engagement

Within the museum, visitors embark on a journey, guided up a grand stair into a series of interconnected galleries. These clear-span bays, bisected by clerestories, provide controlled daylight to accommodate the varied nature of the collection. Through a range of curatorial strategies, the museum creates new perspectives on the objects and the history of the region, fostering educational, social, and cultural engagement.

A New Model for Local and Regional Institutions

The Corvallis Museum presents an inspired dialogue of art and history, setting a new standard for local and regional institutions across the country. By elevating the visibility of the Benton County Historical Society, this project brings fresh opportunities for the community to connect with the rich heritage and culture of the Willamette Valley.

Photography courtesy of Allied Works
Visit Allied Works

- by Matt Watts