Born and raised in Portland

Beginnings

We’ve been around awhile.  Back in 1958, when narrow lapels and tight slacks were first in fashion, we were founded as Broome Selig Oringdulph and our focus was designing schools and small commercial buildings. From the start we were guided by a contextual, user-centric design philosophy which is still a foundation of our practice today.

Beards and Wide Ties

In 1969 we added more partners and moved into the historic Abbot Mills mansion in the Nob Hill neighborhood of Portland, which we all referred to as “the old house.” Our firm’s name evolved to Broome, Oringdulph, O’Toole, Rudolf, and Associates, which, in the interest of brevity, became BOOR/A. Forty-seven years later we decided to further simplify our name to just Bora.

Over these years our work helped shape the Pacific Northwest, its architecture, and our hometown of Portland. We expanded our practice to include performing art centers, higher education facilities, and civic buildings throughout the region. Even as we grew our practice always retained a family-like culture which was underscored by the elegant old house.

LEED Platinum Studio

Today we occupy a highly flexible LEED Platinum studio on the top floor of the historic Morgan Building in the heart of downtown Portland.  We renovated it to create a loft-like space that embodies both our commitment to sustainability and our collaborative culture. We eliminated private offices in favor of open space and informal gathering places to foster collective exploration and problem-solving. Some visitors have commented that our space looks like a design school–a comparison that pleases us.

A National Practice in Portland

Our reputation as experts in academic buildings and cultural venues has taken us far beyond the Pacific Northwest, while our love of our home town has kept our practice grounded in one Portland office. Some of these commissions include the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, The Mesa Arts Center in Arizona, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business known as the Knight Management Center, and the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center for the University of Texas.

We’ve also continued to design significant campus buildings for regional schools and universities, including Newberg School District, Vernonia School District, Oregon State and Portland State University.

Meanwhile, here in Portland, we’ve helped transform the Pearl District into a national model for urban renewal through a LEED Platinum neighborhood plan and residential towers such as the Metropolitan. While in the downtown core, we’ve continued to shape the urban landscape with the Mark O. Hatfield US Courthouse and the Portland Center for the Performing Arts.

Bora is managed and governed by a Board of Directors that is currently represented by the six Principals and includes 15 additional shareholders.