Portland AIA Awards
The site's visual prominence led to the design of four public facades and no "back door." The facade comprises two layers of glazing with a stainless-steel screen in between. The extensive glazing transmits daylight deep into the interior, while a low-e coating on the inner layer of glass panels limits heat gain.
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The means of delivering the building has incurred criticism. The university sidestepped its customary process of selecting of the design and construction team by having Knight lease the land for a dollar, construct the building with his preferred team, and then turn both land and building over to the university.
ZGF was also honored for Twelve West, a major mixed-use building in downtown Portland that includes rental apartments, ground-floor retail, and office space for the firm itself. The 23-story building earned a LEED Platinum rating under LEED-NC v2.1, and is expected to earn another LEED Platinum rating for ZGF's office interiors.
ArchitectureWeek covered Twelve West in April, as one of the Top Ten Green Projects of 2010 selected by the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE).
"It was a case of doing a rental property that actually has amenities and finishes and the dignity of a building that's more permanent," ZGF's Sandoval says. "The sense of permanence and stature was quite critical for us. That idea encompasses sustainability as well. It's about the celebration of light and craft and detail."
Twelve West provides a sleek new sustainable landmark to a Northwest city renowned for livability, despite suffering a relative excess of second-rate taller buildings.
Designed for Designers
The new world headquarters for Ziba, a Portland-based design firm, is noteworthy for its natural light and its office layout. Designed by Holst Architecture, and located in the burgeoning industrial-chic Pearl District neighborhood and adjacent to historic Union Station, the space is rooted by a massive north-facing glass facade that bathes workspaces in daylight.
Collaboration among employees is a focus of the company's, so the interior architecture emphasizes shared space. Inside, there are no private offices. All employees at Ziba, including its president, sit at long rows of utilitarian white desks. This frees up spaces for a large, interconnected series of conference rooms on either side of the desks, strung together with a series of movable walls.
The LEED Gold-certified, 70,000-square-foot (6,500-square-meter) headquarters also features special personal rooms for clients to unwind in after early-morning flight arrivals.
"It's a spatially rich building on a tight budget," the awards jury wrote of the headquarters, noting the "beautiful use of wood and metal in a contemporary manner. [Its] interiors are clean and light filled [with] a refined, buttoned-down exterior."
Resembling a picture frame, the west-facing facade consists of metal panels that protrude a bit from the large glass expanse. The building is set back from the street slightly, which allowed an expansion of the sidewalk, the innermost portion of which was built with wood slats rather than concrete.
Uncommon Portland Houses
The first two built projects by architect Ben Waechter's firm, Atelier Waechter, both received awards from AIA Portland. The renovated Cape Cod residence takes its name not from the actual Cape Cod of Massachusetts (the house is in Portland), but from the architectural style, of which the existing home was a postwar example. Ironically, it's no longer a Cape Cod-style house; the renovation is more contemporary, while echoing the geometry of the original front facade.
The architect's design filled out the second story of the one-and-a-half-story, 650-square-foot (60-square-meter) home, and reconfigured the interiors. Including outdoor space, there is even more usable space now, since the original pitched roof was replaced with a flat roof clad in wood decking that doubles as a patio.
Waechter, who previously worked under celebrated Italian architect Renzo Piano, and under Portland's Brad Cloepfil at Allied Works, also designed the Z-Haus.
Located just a few blocks from the Cape Cod project, the Z-Haus is a duplex, with two side-by-side residences. The project's distinguishing feature may be the way the different floors in each home are stacked on either side of the stairway in a series of half-levels. This allows occupants on one floor to see across the open stairway and up or down to different floors.
Flavor Lair in Brooklyn
Portland firm Skylab Architecture designed the renovation of a 1931 brick building in Brooklyn, New York City, to house the new headquarters for Flavor Paper, a boutique wallpaper manufacturer.
Initial plans for the four-story, 19,000-square-foot (1,800-square-meter) building put a showroom on its ground level and a studio on the second floor. (The third and fourth floors are apartments.) But Skylab and the client instead moved the studio to a glass-fronted ground-floor space, where passersby can watch the hand-screened printing process in action.
The project's design, by Skylab's founding principal Jeff Kovel, includes a range of interior elements — such as wall displays, terrazzo flooring, and a neon installation — that incorporate and showcase the client's bold wallpaper patterns.
Trying to Weave a Creative Hotbed
AIA Portland also honored Skylab for the Weave Building, an as-of-yet unbuilt 50,000-square-foot (4,600-square-meter) project planned for a tiny 5,000-square-foot (460-square-meter) site in downtown Portland.
As designed, the Weave boasts a distinctive facade of angular glass and precast concrete panels in a woven pattern. That facade pattern plays a central role in the project's branding, targeting creative-industry workers. The individual units were also kept small to attract small companies and sole practitioners.
The planned ten-story building, slated to include offices above ground-floor retail, has been designed to achieve a LEED Platinum rating, with features such as a rainscreen facade. At street level, the design includes extra-large 20-foot- (six-meter)-wide glass storefront windows set into movable tracks, framed with wood beams.
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