SRG’s new open office effortlessly connects people to each other, our work and our creative resources through spontaneous interactions and accessible views of each other’s current, in-the-moment projects. This directly translates into an active design environment cultivating better work, stronger relationships and fantastic energy.
Our new office is actually the former home of The Oregonian, situated on the ground level of a 1948 architectural landmark building by Portland architect Pietro Belluschi. The vacant, barrier-free, light-filled space represented a blank canvas to explore how a new office concept could continue to evolve our practice and culture, while simultaneously demonstrating our commitment to design excellence, sustainability and wellness. We retained the publication’s original steel printing press beams overhead in tribute to this space of living history.
Thoughtful Spaces Encouraging Collaboration and Creativity
The studio is filled with a range of spaces to encourage gathering, spontaneous conversations, curiosity and knowledge. An open materials library in the mezzanine is easily viewable and accessible to all. A central kitchen area, the heart of our studio, fosters camaraderie and doubles as a meeting space. Open project pods, where teams display current work, are active meeting and learning areas inspiring ideas and dialogue. Finally, a dedicated maker space encourages design exploration and creativity.
Diverse Work Environments
To complement our open and transparent layout, our studio offers options to accommodate different working styles. We utilize a mix of personal desk locations and densities, plus private areas for small teams and individuals to retreat and focus when needed. Mezzanine workspaces overlooking the main level also cater to staff desiring quieter, yet still connected, spaces.
Connectivity to our Community
Our close ties to our community greatly influence our ability to make a positive, relevant impact in our world. Located at the ground floor with 24-foot-high windows overlooking 6th Avenue, our new, light-flooded studio feels integrated with the city of Portland and is an easy space into which we can invite community members. This inspiring environment has already hosted many open houses and design celebrations, and will naturally welcome speakers, seminars and other design events within Portland and beyond.
Targeting LEED Platinum, our new office is flooded with natural light and boasts demonstrated energy savings of over 30% compared to a code building. LED lighting leads the way at 50% less connected load than a typical building. Daylight sensors, programmable timeclocks and dimmable settings reduce energy use from lighting even further, while adjustable shades manage direct sunlight.
Based on the belief that “buildings are habitats for people,” our spaces intentionally connect to nature. Lush trees outside the 24-foot-high windows complement ample foliage throughout the interiors; large-scale ceiling fans mimic natural breezes for thermal and airflow variability; and the row of east-facing windows provides dynamic and diffuse light that shifts throughout the day. In materials, raw, naturally textured concrete merges with cross-laminated timber (CLT) at the mezzanine, pods, kitchen and entry.
Our office’s incorporation of cross-laminated timber (CLT), emerging as a viable solution in lieu of concrete or steel, exemplifies our commitment to innovation. Manufactured from sustainably harvested timber with notable thermal performance, natural carbon sequestration and fire resistance, CLT’s warmth and elegance are a natural fit for our new office, paying tribute to the culture of research and the discovery of environmentally responsible building materials.
Completed in 2017, the creation of our new studio allowed us to thoughtfully evaluate how design can permeate all seams of our practice. Our workplace now exemplifies our values of openness, collaboration, and the way an environment can foster innovation and inspire excellence. As architects who hold fast to a passion to build better spaces for a better world, coming into this studio every day has truly transformed our culture of design.