GRAY No. 32

Page 106

| architecture |


The undulating façades of Portland’s new One North office complex reveal the future of green office design. Written by BRIAN LIBBY : Photographed by ANDREW POGUE


One North—a commercial project on Portland’s burgeoning Williams Avenue—is a chance to take a leap forward. It’s the second collaboration between award-winning Holst Architecture and environmental lawyer, vintner, and philanthropist Eric Lemelson. The first, four years back, was Lemelson’s own residence: the über-sustainable Karuna House, the world’s first home to earn not only LEED Platinum and Passive House Institute certification but also Switzerland’s Minergie label. Yet as a high-end, high-cost home, the lessons learned from its ultragreen design were only partially replicable in other projects. One North is the next step in their vision. Holst and Lemelson (along with co-developers Nels and Owen Gabbert and contractor R&H Construction) sought to build it in the greenest way they could at a market rate. “Our goal was to create a model for sustainable offices in Portland and show it’s possible


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to get a return on your investment,” recalls Holst partner Kevin Valk. To ensure the building’s longevity, they made it arrestingly beautiful, too. Lemelson, inspired on his travels by the work of Spanish master Antoni Gaudí, challenged Holst to move beyond boxy forms to design supple curves that communicate movement and energy. Meanwhile, across town, creative agency Instrument was looking for a new space after outgrowing the Northeast warehouse it called home. “We wanted a space that could mimic our old office’s open feel, which helps everyone to run into one another and gather together—only we needed a lot more natural light,” explains Instrument chief creative officer JD Hooge. One North, completed in 2015, comprises two multistory buildings flanking a shared 14,000-square-foot public courtyard designed by local landscape architecture firm Lango Hansen. Fifty percent more energy efficient than code requires, the »

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