In the fall of 2005, facing the end of our lease in the Morgan Building in Downtown Portland, Bora began to study our options for staying in the space we had occupied since 1990, leasing new space elsewhere in the city, or purchasing an existing building to redevelop as our headquarters studio.
While forward thinking when it was originally designed, our studio needed updating to accommodate the firm’s growth, changes in workplace technology, changes in team working patterns, and a desire for a higher degree of environmental performance. We surveyed our staff to elicit the criteria that should govern the office location decision, and ultimately we decided our existing space could fulfill our criteria best—with some work.
By removing a dropped ceiling, we reclaimed the 13-foot-high ceilings of the historic building’s original design. Eliminating enclosed work spaces and private offices created a loft-like open environment which allows daylight to more fully wash through the space. Workstations set along the exterior walls give every employee access to daylight, natural ventilation through operable windows, and views. Individual workstations are configured from a set of moveable work surface and storage components, which can be re-arranged as project teams change. Open lounges with tackable surfaces make visible the creative design process and encourage impromptu group work. A large kitchen and flexible design lab serve as the hearth and focus of daily work and informal gatherings.
Along with dramatically reinvigorating our work environment, our efforts to make this space great to work in also achieved the first LEED Platinum for Commercial Interiors certification in Portland.
BEST Award for Green Building, Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability
Merit Award, IIDA Portland
Root Award, Portland Spaces Magazine
LEED CI 2.0 Platinum certified
The ReBuilding Center – DeConstruction Services
Oregon Electric Group