North’s desires were complex but clear: the advertising agency wanted a workspace to reflect its aggressive reorganization, to rethink its programmatic elements, to take inspiration from atypical employee interaction, and to connect to the city. North’s multifaceted output-- incorporating graphic design, video production, film editing, music recording, sound editing and photography-- necessitated a multifaceted workspace. The building’s design team found inspiration in Polar research stations and organized North’s disparate elements into three types of “module:” public, office program, and creative. The modules were laid out to create a dynamic work environment where a myriad of spaces were defined but the building’s historic shell remained untouched.
The modules all rested on elevated “Terrain” that provided a platform for flexible communication wiring, power distribution, and plumbing chases.
The wiring chase was sheathed in carpet tile, and through design the tiles create a digital image based on a topographic map. This topography defines the intellectual terrain upon which the modules
intersect. The composition of modules climaxes with the “Think” module, a triple cantilevered wood paneled space stacked on a graphic design
production module. The “Think” module boasts a clerestory window highlighting the office’s view of Portland’s west hills.
Location: Portland, OR