Playpen is a production space and residence marrying a passion for bass guitars, music making, painting, and skate boarding. Retaining the existing buildings on the site, a new 6,000sf multi-story structure rests on a footprint of 2,500sf. The studio on the ground floor is a place to make art, record music, perform, and skate. A private residence and artist-in-residence quarters occupy the second and third floors. Inspired in part by Gordon Matta Clark’s “Building Cuts”, two existing warehouses on the site, occupying 9,500 square feet, are cut into and modified, but retained in full. Peeling back the roof of one and slicing the other, the warehouses are fused at the site’s core with a geometric insertion blending the future with the past.
A three-story building on a site zoned for five, the design intentionally underdevelops the property. Green roofs and outdoor yards introduce 1/3 of the site back to greenspace in order to fully manage stormwater runoff.
The program for the space is developed out of a highly-iterative design process allowing rooms to be shaped while informing the program. Geometric forms, fitted as if they were a puzzle, are carved with angular skylights and combined into flexible space. Circulation throughout results in a collapsing of barriers to making. From performance hall, to indoor skate park, to a camp fire on the yard, gathering spaces afford unique ways to collaborate and share ideas, something at the core of making of art and music.
Location: Portland, OR