The desire to attract a younger workforce, create a more modern, flexible, and sustainable work environment, and plan for the future led this growing insurance company to relocate to Portland. The architects designed a 19,000 SF modern office building in the Portland Technology Park to support the company’s mission and long-term goals. The building is based on a simple planning module of 20” x 20”, three bays wide, with the center bay opening at the main stair to allow daylight to flood the interior.
The two-story building takes advantage of the natural setting in the Tech Park. All primary work spaces are located on the second floor, with views to the exterior in all directions. Public meeting and social areas are on the first floor, including the “collab cafe”, fitness room, boardroom, and training room for 65 people, all with direct access to the gardens and the Park’s trail system.
Inside, the building is designed to have a feeling of spaciousness and connectivity. There are eight private offices; workstations are arranged in an open office format. A variety of meeting rooms provide opportunities for privacy and group work sessions, including “solo” rooms, small meeting rooms, and larger conference rooms. Employees are encouraged to meet in the “collab café” with their team while sharing a cup of coffee.
The rhythm of the windows and heat-treated wood panels creates a visually stimulating fenestration while generously daylighting the interior work environment. The lower floor has a broader rhythm of windows and more solid, stone-like panels differentiating the less occupied support spaces from the more transparent common areas.
The building was completed in 2017 using a mass-timber framed structure with glue-lam beams, columns, some structural steel reinforcement, and wood roof decking. More traditional light wood framing is used to frame floor and roof plates, shear walls, and partitions, but the primary frame is left exposed throughout the building highlighting the natural beauty of the material and the value of utilizing a renewable, carbon sequestering structural system.
Designed to out-perform energy code by 30%, the building exceeds this target and includes R-35@ exterior walls, R-48 @ roofs, R-10 @ slabs, and U-0.27 windows. Heating and cooling are provided entirely by heat pump systems. There are daylight and motion sensors, energy recovery ventilation and a 29kW rooftop PV array, with ground mounted PV arrays planned to further reduce energy costs.
Becker Structural Engineers, Lisa Whited Interior Designer, Allied Engineering (MEP/FP), Woodard Curran (Civil), Todd Richardson Associates (Landscape Architecture)