This commercial building is a continuation of the simple tectonic commercial structures of the early 70’s, synthesizing a timber frame in lieu of steel as a nod to the historic timber warehouses of the industrial central east side of Portland. There is something transcendent about the point where an object becomes a grid and a grid becomes an object. It is fundamental to the history of building expression – back to the first window that was cut into the first wall to give the first occupant sunlight and a view; and can be deeply representative of an individual’s relationship to society. We are interested in architecture that articulates and also fluctuates between these two states. We feel it is the most compelling and humanistic architectural representation for our time.
The material palette on the exterior using a combination of light gauge painted steel sheet and a heavy gauge lacquered steel on the ground floor to created subtle façade frames that expressed the grid of the building. Where the grid pulls apart, we’ve inserted a narrow operable window that “ventilates” the façade and provides natural ventilation to the building’s workspace users.
The timber frame is constructed in the historically traditional way, with wood beams and columns and 4x6 car deck framing. The decking is topped with a 3” concrete slab that provides the seismic and lateral stabilization for the building – allowing the floor plates to be very open for flexible work space layouts.