When it comes to choosing the design and build of an office, there is much to consider. How many employees do you have? How do your employees interact? Do they need spaces that spark creativity and interaction, or ones that provide more traditional conference style rooms and private desk offices? Whether you are looking to create more of an inspirational and creative work atmosphere or a large-scale commercial office space, the list of Portland architects below are varied in their skills and project abilities. You will notice at least one common overlap amongst the list: most strive to build spaces that are considered environmentally friendly at minimum and attempt to connect the office spaces with the natural world and light (it’s a cloudy city after all). Finally, the following architects all focus on creating at least one interior space in the office building that fosters both an inventive sense of collaboration and natural communal interaction.

Top Architects

TVA Architecture

Robert L. Thompson
Bob Thompson
Mandy Butler
Tim Wybenga
Pam Saftler

GSA National Design Honor Award for Sustainability/Adaptive Reuse,
BOMA International Campus of the Year Award,
Custom Home Magazine’s Grand Design Award

920 SW Sixth Avenue, Suite 1500, Portland, Oregon 97204

About TVA Architecture

Since 1984 when Design Principal Robert L. Thompson, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), founded the firm, TVA’s studio has created with a passion for Modernist style. TVA Architecture’s culture is marked by award-winning design and the excellence of its employees. With a grand tally of 43 awards from AIA National and Regional, it is no surprise that they have also received Local Design Awards for Excellence, a GSA National Design Honor Award for Sustainability/Adaptive Reuse, two Governor’s Livability Awards, a BOMA International Campus of the Year Award, and a Custom Home Magazine’s Grand Design Award. Principals of TVA include Bob Thompson, Mandy Butler, Tim Wybenga, and Pam Saftler.

Featured Projects

TVA has done a lot of cool office work for localized companies like Laika Studios, Umpqua Bank, and DigiMarc. Perhaps we could focus on the grandiose work they have done creating space for Nike, but instead let’s take a look at what Portland Business Journal recently released as a press story about Banfield Corporate Headquarters. Yes, these offices were created by TVA and are not only awesome looking, but they are also Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certified. The three office blocks comprise 230k square feet of office space for this growing veterinary practice. Pet lovers rejoice, those caring for your furry friends are now working in style. The large atrium of the office headquarters looks out to a center courtyard. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring in light — making the most of Portland’s often grey skies.

ZGF Architects LLP

Braulio Baptista
Kathy Berg
Joe Collins
Patrick Cotter
Mark Foster
Toby Hasselgren
Ted Hyman
Doss Mabe
Bob Packard
Gene Sandoval
Karl Sonnenberg
Allyn Stellmacher
Todd Stine
Jan Willemse
Tim Williams

Architect Magazine 2017 Top 50 Architecture Firms- #2 overall and #1 in sustainability,
Architect Magazine 2016 Top 50 Architecture Firms- #1 overall and #1 in sustainability

1223 SW Washington Street #200, Portland, OR 97205

About ZGF Architects LLP

ZGF Architects has offices located in Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington DC, New York, Vancouver BC, and Portland, Oregon, the latter of which serves as their headquarters. Formerly known as Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership, the company was founded in 1942. They are the largest architecture firm in Portland and have received numerous accolades, many of which are environmentally oriented. In 2011 Building-Design and Construction ranked ZGF as the No. 4 architectural firm in the United States. In 2016 Architect named ZGF the No. 1 architecture firm in the country, noting the company’s sustainability practices as an integral factor in determining its esteemed placement. They are consistently ranked as the top company by locals in Portland Business Journal. Jan Willemse currently serves as the managing partner of ZGF’s Portland office.

Featured Projects

A recent legacy project of ZFG is the downtown Portland headquarters for Stoel Rives. The firm used reclaimed wood and other natural materials to align with their sustainable design goals, which have gained the firm LEED Platinum certification. The building features a two-floor reception and conference center, two levels of administrative services, five floors of attorney offices, and an open collaborative space. ZFG also created the corporate headquarters for the Hanna Andersson Corporation, with a completely open office environment for the 12 departments. A white color palette is used throughout and helps solidify the continuity between each space. Workstations have sit-to-stand desks, and a bistro brings employees together at the office. This project won ZFG the Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Award.

Weedman Design Partners

Travis Weedman
Arielle Weedman

NW Design Awards for Commercial Office Design 2015

522 N Thompson Street #7, Portland, OR 97227

About Weedman Design Partners

Weedman Design is an interior design and creative management firm based in Portland, Oregon. They are made up of designers, curators, collaborators, and more. Their passion is creating unique and beautiful spaces with their clients, and their projects are primarily done in the Pacific Northwest. The company, featured on HGTV, is run by Travis and Arielle, who aim to create interiors that will stand the test of time and place. The two started their business in 2003 and do a variety of projects outside of just the office space realm, which we recommend you check out.

Featured Projects

Written up in several articles as one of the coolest office spaces in Portland, Weedman Design Partners created a playful space for the event-planning web engine company ImpactFlow. The design of the office mirrors the young, community-based software startup. The office, reflecting the facets of the business brand, has inviting collaborative open areas for teams of employees to work within. The space has soft yet classic furnishing, bits of funky décor, and even arcade games to play to get the creative juices flowing. Weedman Design kept the architectural bones of the historic building in tact, yet customized it to create different pockets for what was needed: play, privacy, lounge, entertainment, casualness… and work.

Fieldwork Design and Architecture

Cornell Anderson
Timothy Fouch
Tonia Hein

AIA Design Awards,
IIDA Design Excellence Awards

601 SE Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland, OR 97214

About Fieldwork Design and Architecture

Architects Cornell Anderson and Timothy Fouch and interior designer Tonia Hein founded Fieldwork Design in 2011. The firm is based in Portland, Oregon and consists of an architectural team, a furniture and craftspeople team, and a hands-on design and building team. Their work is innovative and forward thinking and always connected to the natural environment, no matter the nature of the project. Sustainable and local materials are consistently used to enhance natural views and landscape. Natural ventilation and natural lighting are also key components of their sensitive and memorable work

Featured Projects

Winner of the 2015 International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Design Excellence Award “Best of Corporate Design,” Fieldwork Design developed a new office for the photo editing app developer BeFunky in an industrial warehouse in NE Portland that might just be one of the raddest offices one can imagine. What does one do with 3,000 square feet? Besides an open office, a whiskey lounge, a kitchen meeting area, and a conference room, the design concept is based off the BeFunky logo (a camera aperture), which is deconstructed to make wooden screen elements along the conference and lounge walls. Did we mention the aperture screen is also used as a ceiling structure, connecting the two primary structures of the space? The white oak used throughout the space, against the exposed concrete floors and core shell, stands out to make custom workstations and tables that match Mid-century furniture, a request of the client. This is not an office you’ll forget.

Bora Architects

Amy Donohue
Pat Harrington
Christopher Linn
Michael Tingley
Stephen Weeks
John O’Toole

AIA Firm of the Year

720 S.W. Washington Street #800, Portland, Oregon 97205

About Bora Architects

Formerly named Boora Architects, Portland, Oregon’s architectural firm Bora Architects derived its name from the now-retired foundational partners Broome, Oringdulph, O’Toole, Rudolf, and Associates. Named AIA Northwest and Pacific Region’s 2016 firm of the year, Bora Architects is often praised for its consistency and dedication to community and work environment, and for pushing the boundaries of traditional architecture practice. Bora is known for its true expertise in creating cultural facilities, educational buildings, and workplace environments, with a specific emphasis on craft, beauty, and, of course, innovative functionality. Current firm principals include Amy Donohue, Pat Harrington, Christopher Linn, Michael Tingley, Stephen Weeks, and John O’Toole.

Featured Projects

It’s hard to choose which office project to talk about when all of Bora Architects’ featured projects include creative and renowned clients like Air BnB, but let’s discuss the contemporary office of Portland-based web agency Fine Design Group. Pastel-colored office cubicles, white collaborative spaces… the office hosts a mix of convenience and inspiration at once. A triangular volume floats at the west end of the floor layout, holding two connected offices in addition to a large conference room. Cloaked in a magnetic writing surface, the shape lends itself to myriad uses. Included is a work space, a game room, and the kitchen and dining areas. A glass-walled bar of meeting rooms and offices live on the east wall, and a floor-to-ceiling walnut bookcase defines and defends the copy area and lounge. The original exposed steel ceiling and structure was painted white, which contrasts nicely with the other popping colors of the space.

Ankrom Moisan Architects Inc.

Stewart Ankrom
Tom Moisan

Portland Sustainability at Work Gold Workplace Certification

6720 S.W. Macadam Avenue #100, Portland, OR 97219

About Ankrom Moisan Architects Inc.

A recent recipient of Portland Sustainability at Work Gold Workplace Certification, Ankrom Moisan is a national firm founded in 1983 and headquartered in Portland. The firm’s portfolio includes a wide array of award-winning, mixed-use student housing; affordable housing; workplace, hospitality, and healthcare projects; and senior living communities (like the Mirabella, which won the ULI Global Excellence Award). The firm has a mission for and emphasis on creating spaces where people and communities thrive.

Featured Projects

It might seem a bit much to gush about the firm’s own office in featured projects, but writers write great books about writing, so why wouldn’t an architect firm build itself a fantastic office? Ankrom Moison architectural and interior design firm moved its few hundred Portland employees into the ever airy, six-story headquarters, which sits mere steps from the downtown MAX station along the west bank of the Willamette River. The lobby and kitchen area leads into the living room and all-staff conference room. But our favorite part is the cozy little nooks they designed for themselves for any improv last minute meetings that might need to happen here or there. And of course, almost all of the walls can be used as whiteboards for amy ideas that might need visual markup right away.

Osmose Design

Andee Hess

Interior Design of the Year

2351 NW York Street #7, Portland, OR 97210

About Osmose Design

She’s already won a slew of awards, including three Interior Design of the Year merit awards and being named on the prestigious design:retail’s 40 under 40 list. Andee Hess, who once worked for Skylab, began her own company, Osmose Design, in 2009. She prefers her work to not have a signature look, but would rather have someone walk into an office and have it be unique enough for people to stop and say, who designed this? Osmose blends and pushes the limits of interior design by fusing design build with project management, furniture and lighting design, and branding creative direction, all while making dependable relationships in order to craft masterfully memorable spaces and environments.

Featured Projects

Just one of the many projects featured in blog posts about cool spaces or interior designers, or OregonLive’s shoutout to Andee Hess, is the office she designed for Portland-based software developer, Panic, who specializes in apps for Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Therefore, it only makes sense that their office would have a slick design that is also intuitive like its products. For Panic’s office space and headquarters, Osmose used a vibrancy in color and light that’s a bit unprecedented in what you’d expect an office to look like, even a creative one. Osmose animated spaces in an unusually delightful way. For example, one will be sure to notice — if not stare — at the giant triangles that are edge-lit and scale the wall. Their deck has even been said to have “alien-like landscaping,” and here, that’s a compliment!

Guerrilla Development

Kevin Cavenaugh

2500 NE Sandy Boulevard, Suite C, Portland, OR 97232

About Guerrilla Development

Guerrilla Development is dedicated to the creation of inventive and experimental projects. Their work demonstrates how buildings with uniquely beautiful design and excellent financial returns are not at all mutually exclusive. Owner Kevin Cavenaugh completed architecture school at UC Berkeley and then built schools and homes for the Peace Corps in Gabon, Africa for a few years before moving to Portland, Oregon in 1993. Cavenaugh designs and develops small commercial and residential buildings, using inexpensive materials while consistently attaining high-energy efficiency. His Burnside Rocket building has earned an LEED Platinum rating.

Featured Projects

The Fair-Haired Dumbbell is Guerrilla Development’s 56k-square-foot speculative office building at the bridgehead of East Burnside near the Willamette river. The building is described as the “boldest of the lot,” due to its painted, abstract mural façade; the building, whose lively aesthetic does not shy away from attention in the least, was even featured in The New York Times. The project hosts two canted, six-story towers, which are decked out in hand-painted original artwork on each of the eight elevations. Sky bridges connect the 4,000-square-foot office spaces on every level. Although connected, no two elevations are made the same, except that impressive views of Portland can be found through any window in their myriad sizes.

LEVER Architecture

Thomas Robinson

4713 N Albina Avenue, Portland, OR 97217

About LEVER Architecture

Lever is a design practice based out of Portland, Oregon, whose architecture includes a multitude of building projects for institutions, creative offices, retail, and multifamily housing. Lever was founded in 2009 by Thomas Robinson, who received his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from UC Berkeley and then a Master of Architecture with Distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He then led various institutional projects for Allied Works and Herzog & de Meuron. Lever is known as a pioneer in the development of mass timber buildings in the United States.

Featured Projects

These guys get extra credit because they designed the first building in the US made from domestically fabricated Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). Located in North Portland, Albina Yard is a 16k-square-foot office building considered to be the cutting edge of architecture. Lever Architecture is the US leader of CLT mass timber construction use. Albina Yard opened in September of 2016. Locally manufactured and prefabricated in Oregon, the building’s glue-laminated timber frame and Douglas fir CLT panels makes the Albina Yard stand out all the more.

Beebe Skidmore Architects

Heidi Beebe
Doug Skidmore

AIA Honor Awards,
AIA Merit Awards,
Chicago Athenaeum Museum American Architecture Award

917 SW Oak Street #412, Portland, OR 97205

About Beebe Skidmore Architects

Another award-winning studio, Beebe Skidmore Architects possesses contemporary vision and challenges itself to be a leader in unexpected design solutions that are intentionally efficient and articulate. Heidi Beebe, AIA, LEED, AP, and a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), has a Master of Architecture from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts from Williams. Before she established her firm, she worked as an architect at Machado Silvetti, Thompson & Rose, and Allied Works Architecture. Doug Skidmore, AIA LEED AP, holds his Master of Architecture from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon. His contributions to nationwide architecture come in both design and technicalities, including 10 projects that earned AIA awards and various publication in renowned journals, such as Detail, Dwell, and Architectural Record.

Featured Projects

Let’s talk about what everyone else is talking about: the office space of Swift Agency. A renovated awning factory in Portland’s slabtown, this area is a bustling center for creatives. The space has a minimalist aesthetic, which allows for a flexible creativity of movement popular in creative ad agencies. Both the collaborative and private spaces alike have airflow and comfort and are designed for indoor plant life. The central kitchen has a kombucha garden and marble-topped bars for all those impromptu meet-ups that are bound to occur. With accessibility and organic interaction in mind, the gathering spaces can accommodate needs, such as video and photo shoots, and there is an angular rooftop mezzanine for even more opportunities to meet, gather, or catch some light. The staircases are criss-crossed with matching X-shaped light fixtures, offering a small salute to the female owned agency.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *