The design for the Wieden+Kennedy building transformed an abandoned 1908 warehouse into the headquarters for an international advertising agency. The building is home to more than 400 designers and support staff, as well as non-profit arts organizations including the Caldera Arts Foundation and the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.
The existing masonry and timber-frame structure was renovated and placed on the National Historic Register. The warehouse was opened to the street with a new mixed-use base of shops and restaurants. Within, workspaces are organized into ‘mini-agencies’ that occupy the building perimeter and contain dedicated resources including conference spaces, kitchens and informal lounges. A new concrete five-story structure rises in the center of the historic warehouse, uniting the many levels of the building into a cohesive whole. This space contains all of the building’s shared resources including a screening room and gymnasium, and centers upon an open auditorium constructed of reclaimed Douglas-fir timbers. By day, physical and visual connections across the atrium promote interaction among the many divisions and disciplines within the agency. By night, the auditorium operates as a public space for gathering, performance, and exhibition.