Two Portland-based architecture firms, Waechter Architecture and Hacker, explore the potential of mass timber in their new offices.
Waechter Architecture Iterates On The Concept Of Essentialism
Continuously iterating on the concept of essentialism, Portland-based Waechter Architecture applied the mindset to a new 9,550-square-foot mixed-use building on Portland’s Mississippi Street that, among other purposes, houses their offices. The structure is the first commercial project in the state to use mass timber construction for all components of the building. The material was a natural choice for the firm because of its sustainable and biophilic qualities, not to mention the robust legacy of the timber industry in the region. “In many ways, the DNA of a project like this was already here,” says founder and principal architect, Ben Waechter. “It just needed to be given new expression.”
Hacker Showcases The Power Of Mass Timber
When designing their new offices on the city’s central east side, Portland firm Hacker set the bar high. They sought to showcase mass timber’s structural capabilities with daylight-filled, double-height volumes. “We wanted to create a space that feels just open enough so teams can feel connected and part of the overall studio,” says Hacker principal Corey Martin. Long interested in the potential of wood construction, Hacker drew on their experience designing the first cross-laminated timber office building in the country back in 2017. “For this project, we saw an opportunity to show that mass timber can be cost competitive, beautiful and inspiring.”