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The Design Legacy Of Portland Architect Bob Frasca

    Robert Frasca
    ZGF Founding Design Partner Robert Frasca

    Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Founding Design Partner Robert Frasca died at 84 just after the beginning of 2018, leaving a design legacy that reshaped the Portland skyline and left important works nationwide.

    The following are some of Frasca's best-known designs, in Portland and in other markets.

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    Portland International Airport, 2002

    Portland International Airport
    Portland International Airport

    Frasca designed many of Portland’s most important civic projects, including the Portland International Airport, but also Waterfront Park, the Oregon Historical Society, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Justice Center and the Oregon Convention Center. 

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    Oregon Health & Science University, Doernbecher Children's Hospital, 1998

    Oregon Health & Science University, Doernbecher Children's Hospital
    Oregon Health & Science University, Doernbecher Children's Hospital

    Frasca integrated nature, healing gardens and art into his buildings long before research proved their importance. The first buildings of this type that he designed were the Vollum Institute and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital at OHSU.

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    Oregon Convention Center, 1991, 2001

    Oregon Convention Center
    Oregon Convention Center

    Frasca was involved in the original design of the Oregon Convention Center and its more recent expansion. He also executed the master plan and designed many buildings for Reed College and for Oregon Health & Science University, as well as the Multnomah Athletic Club, KOIN Tower and Portland General Electric’s headquarters (now the World Trade Center).

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    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Yawkey Center for Cancer Care, Boston, 2011

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Yawkey Center for Cancer Care
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Yawkey Center for Cancer Care

    Frasca designed science and engineering buildings, medical school buildings and research facilities for universities across the country, including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Yawkey Center for Cancer Care in Boston. He also did work for the University of California-Berkeley, Cornell University, Duke University, Stanford University, Williams College, Emory University and Johns Hopkins University. 

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    National Institutes of Health Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center, Bethesda, Maryland, 2004

    National Institutes of Health Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center
    National Institutes of Health Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center

    Frasca did public facility design nationwide, such as the National Institutes of Health Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Working with the State Department's Design Excellence program, he designed U.S. embassies and consulates in Istanbul, Sofia, Bulgaria, and Cape Town, South Africa.

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    Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, The Mortimer B. Zuckerman Research Center, New York, 2006

    Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, The Mortimer B. Zuckerman Research Center
    Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, The Mortimer B. Zuckerman Research Center

    Frasca was born in Niagara Falls, New York, to parents who had immigrated from Italy. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne Giordano, his children by his first marriage to Marilyn Buys (deceased in 2000), Andrea and Jason, his grandson, Nicolas, his sister, Joyce Broderson, his nephew, David, and his sister-in-law, Lorraine Giordano.