Courtesy of Lever Architecture

One of the two winning projects in the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition has gotten the green light to start construction on what is expected to become the country's tallest mass-timber building. Following fire, acoustic, structural, and seismic tests, the 12-story Framework project planned for Portland, Ore., has been awarded a building permit, and construction is expected to begin later this year and wrap the following winter.

Designed by local firm Lever Architecture, Framework is a 90,000-square-foot high-rise combining retail, office, 60 units of affordable housing, and space for an exhibition about the building. Lever worked with Beneficial State Bank, the developer Project^, and the county's public housing authority, Home Forward.

"Framework’s design is intended to showcase the nature of an innovative mass timber structure at both the street level and on the city skyline," the firm notes in a fact sheet provided to ARCHITECT. "The building mass is split around a central vertical core and lifted at the north street corner to create a double height daylit community space that showcases the building structure and brings together the main entries into retail, housing, and office spaces."

Courtesy of Lever Architecture

At 148 feet tall, the 12-story project is expected to become the tallest mass-timber building in the United States when it is completed in 2018. (The other winner in the competition clocked in at 10 stories, but the developer canceled the SHoP-designed project earlier this year.) When it opened late last year, the seven-story T3 building in Minneapolis, designed by Michael Green Architecture and architect-of-record DLR Group, became the country's tallest mass timber building at that point.

"Thanks to the tremendous work of the Framework team, Portland’s Pearl District will proudly stand as the site of the first skyscraper made from wood in the United States—a true technological and entrepreneurial achievement," Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a press release.

Visit ARCHITECT's Project Gallery for more information about Framework.