Pacific Northwest Publishing is situated in an urban area on the edge of downtown Eugene. The glazed vertical circulation core is turned slightly off axis to gesture to the adjacent green pedestrian path. The existing path connects the building to the city and is the location of a Japanese American Internment Memorial. The memorial is significant to the client who’s grandparents are Japanese immigrants.
The location at 6th and Willamette is one of the busiest in the city, with the Hult Center for the Performing Arts right across the street, and the team wanted the façade to reflect the energy of the new owners and to be a vibrant part of the urban fabric.
The exterior of the building’s newly constructed stairwell is composed of high pressure laminate panels. The panels continue from the exterior to the interior lobby space and soften the transition from outside to inside. In addition, they define the new building from the existing. The new metal solar shade on the south façade helps minimize solar heat gain during office hours, while the articulated window boxes mimic camera hoods used in video production and provide views and access to daylight.
Encouraging teamwork and cultivating creativity was one of the main design goals for this project. The meeting rooms include large sliding glass doors to provide flexible space, while the large stairwell offers generous landings and seating for people to meet and share ideas.
In addition, during the design process, we questioned the traditional role of basic building elements such as the wall. We envisioned the wall as serving multiple purposes and providing flexibility as opposed to simply dividing space. As a result, we incorporated several large openings with sliding glass doors in the corridor walls that allow one space to spill seamlessly into another. Walls were also thickened to house storage, displays, mechanical, and electrical equipment.
A palette of industrial and non-precious materials was selected to complement the existing structure. The walls are constructed with exposed plywood panels and brightly painted accent walls throughout the central circulation spine to define the building core. The flooring is functionally durable with patterns that are conceptually inspired by pixels and film strips. The mechanical ductwork and scissor trusses are left exposed to celebrate the industrial history of the building.