Design in service to community has always been our calling. As LEVER grows towards our future in civic and cultural work, it has been our honor to work with the clients and organizations working tirelessly to ensure our communities thrive.

This year, LEVER embarked on two major education projects: Portland State University’s new School of Art + Design will be an 80,000 sf home for a vibrant art student community, located on the beautiful Park Blocks of downtown Portland. We are also proud to be part of the diverse design leadership team collaborating on Portland Public Schools’ historic renovation of Jefferson High School, only blocks away from our Portland studio. 

We currently have three affordable housing projects underway: Dekum Court is a 147-unit affordable housing complex, our second project in collaboration with Home Forward, the public housing authority of Portland, Oregon. We are also working with Albina Vision Trust to design affordable housing on two sites as part of their major equity-focused redevelopment of Portland’s Lower Albina neighborhood. These include Albina One, a 94-unit apartment building; and Williams + Russell, a mixed-use development set to include affordable rental units and townhomes. Both projects seek to rekindle a sense of community and provide housing and economic opportunities for Black and BIPOC Portland families.

Libraries are, in many ways, the ultimate civic spaces, welcoming everyone and striving to offer resources equally to those who seek them. LEVER is currently designing renovations and expansions for two public libraries: Albina Library and North Portland Library, both part of Multnomah County Library’s Bond-funded Chapter One projects. Design for these libraries is truly a group effort, bringing LEVER together with our client and the community for 40+ public events and meetings so far.