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Albina Yard

Show hide Project Info

Location

Portland, OR

Scale

16,000 sf

Program

Office, Retail

Completion

2016

Awards

Architect's Newspaper, Best of Design Award for Office and Retail

AIA Portland, Citation Award

Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Awards

Woodworks, Best Multi-Story Commercial Design

Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce, Top Projects

Albina Yard is a new 16,000 sf speculative office building with ground floor retail located in North Portland. The building utilizes mass timber construction, with a glulam timber frame and Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) panels manufactured and prefabricated in Riddle, Oregon. The project’s primary goal was to utilize domestic CLT in a market-rate office building that would pave the way for broader market adoption of renewable mass timber construction technologies in Portland and the US. The design approach reflects a commitment to this sustainable technology by developing an architecture focused on economy and simplicity, material expression, and the careful resolution and integration of all M/E/P building systems to foreground the beauty of the exposed Douglas fir structural frame.

At the street level, the floor plan is organized around activating a small L-shaped infill site in a mixed residential/light industrial neighborhood. The side-loaded structural core connects the public entry to a day-lit CLT egress stair that opens onto a private south-facing courtyard. The retail space also connects to the street with a café/bar adjacent to the courtyard space. The upper floors have expansive views of Mt. Hood and downtown Portland, and are also divisible into four smaller units.

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Albina Yard is made from an engineered wood product called Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). The project is the first building in the US made from domestically-produced CLT. 

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The dynamic form of the street-facing façade is a direct expression of the four-foot cantilevering capability of a four-inch thick three-ply CLT panel. Metal panels trim out the angled floor plates, framing four levels of a structural Douglas fir glulam wood window wall system. Viewed from an oblique perspective, the window frames resemble a wall of wood.

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Two different structural systems were designed in parallel for pricing: one with standard tongue and groove wood decking and one with CLT. Working collaboratively with our engineers and fabricators, we optimized costs by simplifying our details and leveraging CLT’s superior two-way spanning capacity to utilize fewer glulam beams.

The wood columns and beams were prefabricated off site to 1/8-inch tolerances using a Hundegger K2-ROBOT six-axis joinery machine. The prefabrication allowed components to be assembled on site five times faster than a conventional wood decking system.

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The handrail in the central stair is made from three-ply CLT—the same ply thickness used for the building's roof and ceiling panels. 

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Albina Yard is built from wood harvested in the Northwest. D.R. Johnson, a timber manufacturer based in Riddle, Oregon, produced the project’s glulam timber frame and CLT panels. The prefabricated timber components arrived by truck, with the first 4,000 sf layer of CLT installed in less than four hours. 

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D.R. Johnson Lumber's truck arriving at Albina Yard with the project's first 4,000 sf of CLT.

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Installation of one of the project's final CLT panels with a view of Mt. Hood in the distance.

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The project's CLT panels were manufactured at D.R. Johnson Lumber Co. in Riddle, Oregon. The wood layers used to make the CLT panels are bonded together with a hydraulic press.

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The project's glulam beams and columns were precision fabricated using CAD/CAM software and CNC technology at CutMyTimber in Portland, Oregon.

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Rapid prototyping allowed the team to work iteratively to design the project’s custom connections.

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Installation of Albina Yard's glulam columns and beams.

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The project's steel connections are powder-coated to protect the assembly from the elements during construction.

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The connection assembly is concealed inside the wood, allowing the beauty of the timber frame to remain primary.

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D.R. Johnson Lumber's truck arriving at Albina Yard with the project's first 4,000 sf of CLT.

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Installation of one of the project's final CLT panels with a view of Mt. Hood in the distance.

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The project's CLT panels were manufactured at D.R. Johnson Lumber Co. in Riddle, Oregon. The wood layers used to make the CLT panels are bonded together with a hydraulic press.

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The project's glulam beams and columns were precision fabricated using CAD/CAM software and CNC technology at CutMyTimber in Portland, Oregon.

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Site Plan and Section

Legend: 1 Retail; 2 Entry; 3 Egress Stair; 4 Elevator; 5 CLT Stair; 6 Cafe; 7 Courtyard; 8 Shipping Container/Office; 9 Neighboring Building; 10 Office

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Albina Yard is made from an engineered wood product called Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). The project is the first building in the US made from domestically-produced CLT. 

The handrail in the central stair is made from three-ply CLT—the same ply thickness used for the building's roof and ceiling panels. 

Site Plan and Section

Legend: 1 Retail; 2 Entry; 3 Egress Stair; 4 Elevator; 5 CLT Stair; 6 Cafe; 7 Courtyard; 8 Shipping Container/Office; 9 Neighboring Building; 10 Office