Langley Investment Partners commissioned LEVER to design Redfox Commons, a 60,000 sf renovation that knits together two World War II era warehouses to form one light-filled creative office campus. The buildings, once home to an agricultural equipment company, are located at Guild’s Lake Industrial Sanctuary, one of Portland’s largest industrial areas. This project sits at the southern end of the industrial park, bordering a residential neighborhood, the city’s largest urban park, and the Willamette River.
Like many early structures in the Pacific Northwest, the buildings are framed using regionally harvested timber. Recognizing the historic and environmental significance of this material, the renovation preserves and utilizes the original lumber.
In the deconstruction process, the wood from an overbuilt mezzanine was salvaged to create a new entry between the two existing structures. Working with the general contractor R&H Construction, the lumber was grouped and catalogued by length. From this stock list, LEVER created a diagram for the placement of the boards within the new entry.
The original trusses were sandblasted and remain exposed, highlighting the natural beauty of the wood. New 80'-long clerestory windows were added to each roof to bring light into the large open floor plates which accommodate single or multiple tenants and varied uses over time.
The rest of the material palette was selected to complement the industrial neighborhood’s history and identity; the façade and roof are clad in corrugated weathering steel and a ribbon of metal-framed storefront windows provide new views to the surroundings. A series of rain gardens mitigate stormwater and the addition of a new patio and sidewalks are an indication of area developments as envisioned under Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan.