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New Bora Studio at Volta

Portland, OR

New Bora Studio at Volta

Portland, OR

Human warmth, creative chaos...(the studio) captures the way designers like to work. It's a livable maker space as a work space.

2023 Awards Jury, IIDA Oregon

After more than 30 years in downtown Portland, Bora relocated its studio to the Electric Blocks of Portland’s central eastside at SE 3rd and Market. The 41,000sf core-and-shell renovation of a former electrical warehouse, known as Volta, includes light-filled, reinvigorated space for Bora’s new workplace as well as other tenants.

Celebrating the building’s industrial warehouse character, design interventions were kept minimal, expanding window openings and strategically reworking roof monitors to bring in abundant daylight and optimize downtown views across the Willamette. Envisioned as an open workshop where ideas are born, Bora’s new studio space balances our needs for creative exploration and collaboration, providing choices for spontaneous discussions and hybrid meetings alike while offering spaces to retreat and engage in focus work. The curated interiors, featuring chemically safe materials and the craftsmanship of local fabricators, spill onto a west-facing terrace as an alternative space to work, gather, or enjoy lunch.

With the core and shell certified LEED Platinum and Bora’s studio tenant improvement pursuing Net Zero Carbon, energy is mitigated by off-site photovoltaic paneling, daylighting strategies, operable windows, and active user monitoring. An accessible entry along the north side features a dynamic art installation of lights, illuminating the street corner in this growing neighborhood of workplace, restaurants, and public transit.

Volta opened in early 2023 and is pursuing Net Zero Carbon certification.


By reusing an existing structure, Bora’s new studio at Volta significantly reduces the emissions typically associated with a new build. The relatively small amount of embodied carbon associated with finishes and furnishings will be tabulated and offset prior to occupation. Operationally, the building’s energy needs will be 100% offset with new solar PVs mounted on a nearby building, while ongoing energy use will be monitored and displayed daily, empowering individual occupants to personally conserve energy and help the project achieve its Net Zero goals. (more here)


The new workplace demonstrates how a properly sealed and ventilated building can mitigate the rising risk of smoke inundation from climate-change-fueled wildfires. Aiming to achieve an infiltration rate below 0.2CFM/sf while benefiting from advanced air filters, the studio can be opened up during times of fair weather, and shut down as needed to protect occupants from excessive pollution. (more here)


Bora’s office prioritizes variety and choice; abundant options allow each individual to customize their work environment through variances in seating arrangements, auditory environments, thermal conditions, and illumination. The site’s dense urban location provides a range of transportation and dining options. Rather than asking occupants to conform, the studio provides flexibility at all levels to serve people’s unique needs. (more here)


41,000 sf (Core and Shell)
14,579 sf (Bora studio)


LEED Platinum (Core and Shell)

IIDA Oregon, 2023 Best in Category (Corporate)

IIDA Oregon, 2023 Impact Award for Equity + Inclusion

IIDA Oregon, 2023 Best in Show