In the summer of 2012 after four years in the same Water Ave location our lease was up and we faced the question, “where do we go from here?”. Our team had grown from three to five and we wanted to make sure our office for the next few years not only could accommodate the elbow room required, but was a good environment we all enjoyed working in.
After exploring many options, we decided that we didn’t want to leave Water Avenue and the evolving Produce Row business development area. We had watched the area grow up around us (gaining new neighbors Boke Bowl and Bunk Bar to name a few) and felt it was on the cusp of becoming something very special.
With that decision settled, we started discussing what could be done to the space to make it feel more “ours” and meet the needs of a growing collaborative creative company. Our floor plan is long and narrow with tall ceilings and large windows. While that creates an open feel, it also results in an ill-defined space. We wanted to break up the space to better define work/creative areas and establish private space for both small team work sessions and client meetings. We reached out to longtime client and collaborator Chris Patano at Patano+Hafermann Architects and his team quickly came up with the concepts that would eventually shape our new office. The main focal point would be a new 10’ x 10’ conference room dividing the back work space from the entry/activity area. The conference room itself would house up to five team members comfortably and be soundproofed to maintain privacy for both those in the room as well the outside office area. The work area will be redesigned to include a bullpen area with a bank of desks bringing the entire team closer together and enabling quick meetings and discussions when necessary.
As the plans moved closer to fruition, we began to search for the ideal builder to bring it to life. Chris reached out to colleague Jeff Kovel at Skylab for a short-list of PDX recommendations. Timing seemed to be on our side, as Daylight was a sponsor of the 2012 Design Week (put on by longtime friend Eric Hillerns) and I was fortunate to see Jeff speak and talk to him directly about our project. Jeff suggested Scott McIntire of White Dog Construction as they had worked on one of Skylab’s landmark projects, the infamous Doug Fir Lounge.
One of the final (but arguably the most important) pieces to the puzzle was the actual wood that would define the space. We worked with Katie Cox at Idaho-based Timber to help select and source the wood. After much deliberation and discussions she suggested the facade of the conference room be a rough mix of aspen and cedar while the bank of desks would be larch, stained dark for additional contrast against our existing cork floors.
As anyone can attest who has been part of a construction project, things rarely go according to plan. However, Scott and Jill at White Dog Construction were amazing and kept the project moving along well. We were a collection of creative nomads for only about six weeks (many thanks to Mark Grimes at NedSpace for making us feel at home… away from home) and moved back into our revitalized home in early January of 2013.
The new office space is one that we not only enjoy as a team, but one that we are proud to show off to prospective clients and team candidates.
(Photo Credit: Kristal Passy)