Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…
Okay, I’ll be honest. I didn’t expect to be writing another office buildout blog post a little over a year after our last project. Over the years we have always made a conscious effort to grow slowly and keep our tight-knit group small. We have been fortunate, however, to continue to work with great clients and (equally as important) have made some amazing additions to our team in the past year. All of which has lead us to grow out of our beloved space of five years on Water Avenue.
As before, we did not want to leave the Produce Row area we have come to know and love, so we reached out to Beam Development to see what spaces would be available in the near future. After reviewing several options in various SE PDX buildings, we selected an incredible space across the street. Though our zip code did not change, the new office couldn’t be more different. The new space has over twice the square footage, a kitchen area, a separate conference room, and two large walls sporting over 450 square feet of windows. On a clear day our team now can peak over their monitors to catch a glimpse of Mt. Hood or watch the OHSU tram off in the distance above the 405 overpass.
Mo space, mo problems…
Our group immediately fell in love with the space but there was quite a bit of work to do. Similar to our previous office, the new space had an open floor plan, which required us to break up the space effectively to work, meet, collaborate, break, and play foosball (of course). The challenge, as we saw it, was to break up the space as needed without losing the open feeling and the light/views provided by the bank of windows. Large windows aside, the lighting was also woefully insufficient with four pendant lamps suppling all the light for 1,500 square feet and a single lamp in the conference room (which immediately was dubbed the “interrogation room”).
We’re getting the band back together!
Based upon our previous project’s success, we reached out again to Chris Patano at Patano Studio Architecture (PSA) as well as Scott and Jill McIntire at White Dog Construction. After a site visit and frequent conversions, PSA’s eventual concept called for two new walls to be constructed, separating the workspace from the entry while creating a new private break area. Rather than create new solid walls, potentially closing off the areas entirely, Chris suggested spacing the wood with gaps similar to that of a “good neighbor fence.” The result would be a visual break to create the areas, but allow light to come through to maintain an open, airy feeling (or as Jill described it on their Facebook page: “a privately transparent juxtaposition”).
These go to eleven…
The new work area has seating for up to 11, including a half wall between our desks which allows for quick conversations with the whole group but creates additional privacy often required for an active team. The break area now includes our relocated lockers and a kitchen with couch/table seating for lunch breaks and larger group meetings. Oh, and appropriate lighting for the daily “Welcome to the Thunderdome” foosball matches (did we mention we play foosball?).
White Dog Construction once again did an amazing job executing the PSA team’s vision while putting their own stamp on the outcome through onsite recommendations and consultation. Their team was very considerate of our group’s desire to be in the office as much as possible and, therefore, worked multiple weekends in order to displace us for only a few days.
There are still some finishing touches being put on the space but we are all very excited about the end result. We encourage everyone to stop by when in the area. Well not, everyone… but you, you are okay.