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Redfox Commons

Show hide Project Info

Location

Portland, OR

Scale

60,000 sf

Program

Office

Completion

2019

Awards

AIA Portland, Honor Award
Restore Oregon, DeMuro Award
Architect's Newspaper Best of Design Awards, Adaptive Reuse category
WoodWorks, Wood Design Awards, Commercial Low-Rise Category
Portland Business Journal, Transformer Award

This adaptive re-use project transforms two former industrial structures into a light-filled campus for creative office tenants. The project is a catalyst for thinking about how development can leverage underutilized structures and materials to add value to our cities.

Located in Northwest Portland, the site has a notable past as a gateway to the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition and was later part of Guild’s Lake District, a significant industrial sanctuary. The original heavy timber structures were built in the 1940s for J.A. Freeman & Sons, a manufacturer of hay baling and hay handling equipment. Recognizing the historic and environmental significance of the old growth wood structure, the renovation preserves and restores the original lumber. The existing trusses were sand blasted and remain exposed, highlighting the natural beauty of the wood. New 80’ wide clerestory windows were added to each roof to bring light into the large open floor plates which are distinguished by column-free spans of 100 feet. To uphold the project’s heritage, both buildings were completely rebuilt using an industrial vernacular of ribbon windows and weathering steel cladding.

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The project is located on the site of the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, a historic event and catalyst for major population growth in Portland during the early twentieth century.

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The existing industrial structures were built during the 1940s for J.A. Freeman and Sons, makers of agricultural equipment such as hay balers. 

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During demolition, wood from an overbuilt mezzanine was salvaged to create a new timber and glass entrance structure that connects the two historic buildings. Over 6,500 linear feet of 4x12 inch boards were reclaimed, varying in length from 12 to 24 feet. Working with the general contractor, the lumber was grouped and catalogued by length. The reclaimed boards were fastened around a new glulam member using large wood screws to create the entrance structure’s distinctive columns and beams. Innovative use of wood salvaged on-site creates a welcoming entry to the campus that is expressive of the project’s heritage and of environmentally-conscious design.

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Each color on the diagram indicates a different board length, providing the contractor with a reference point for selecting and placing the reclaimed timber.

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Construction of the mass timber connecting structure.

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The connecting structure is made from timber that salvaged on site.

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During demolition, the existing structures were taken down to their original heavy timber frames.

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Digging the foundation for the new connecting structure.

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The east cuilding's original heavy timber structure is exposed following demolition.

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Installation of the weathering steel.

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Construction of the mass timber connecting structure.

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The connecting structure is made from timber that salvaged on site.

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During demolition, the existing structures were taken down to their original heavy timber frames.

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Digging the foundation for the new connecting structure.

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The project is located on the site of the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, a historic event and catalyst for major population growth in Portland during the early twentieth century.

The existing industrial structures were built during the 1940s for J.A. Freeman and Sons, makers of agricultural equipment such as hay balers. 

Each color on the diagram indicates a different board length, providing the contractor with a reference point for selecting and placing the reclaimed timber.