At a quarter city block and roughly eighteen thousand square feet, Spencer Court reimagined an abandoned century-old building into a flourishing member of the vibrant West End neighborhood in downtown Portland. Skylab was tasked with the core / shell renovation design concept, while incorporating entirely new building infrastructure with a full seismic upgrade.
Sensitivity and care were taken to preserve the existing building shell, which included sandblasting of fire-damaged timber structure, bracing of brick piers, and exposing of interior columns and beams. A selective play of incisions was used to enrich spatial experience and create facade depth. Monumental expanses of curtain wall allow light to access deep within the building and full-height sliding doors help activate the urban connection between pedestrians and tenants alike. Steel thresholds frame building entries while awnings introduce rhythm to a previously barren streetscape.
Inside, a double-height lobby with upper skylight visually connects the floors and provides a common public gathering space for all users. New tenants include a variety of shops and restaurants at ground level and creative offices on the upper floor.
Provisions for future development were also incorporated, including a head house for roof deck access and a foundation for an elevator tower to serve an adjacent rooftop restaurant.
Location: Portland, OR