Wieden+Kennedy Headquarters

Portland, OR
Allied Works Architecture
R&H Construction
Sustainable Stormwater
Services/Project Type
Structural Engineering
Civil Engineering
Site Development
Utility Infrastructure
Stormwater Management

KPFF provided structural and civil engineering design services for the seismic upgrade, renovation and adaptive re-use of a five-story, 220,000-sf historic (1914) building for use as Wieden + Kennedy's new global headquarters. To accommodate an open and creative workspace for the 500-person firm, the existing building required substantial renovation, repair, and seismic strengthening.

The structure was originally an old cold storage warehouse, constructed of heavy timber floors and unreinforced masonry walls. It had experienced significant deterioration, which created challenges in preserving stability during both the demolition and construction phases. KPFF worked closely with the contractor in developing stabilization techniques. A majority of the bracing and supports used during demolition and temporary stabilization were also used in the final configuration for seismic strengthening, which helped reduce costs.

A new 80-ft by 100-ft atrium space was added to the center of the structure between the first floor and the new 10,000-sf penthouse level, which increased the challenge of seismically strengthening the building. At the perimeter of the atrium, new concrete shear walls were added to form a "seismic box." This box, along with other modifications, provided the necessary strength to bring the building into conformance with current seismic code. The walls were formed in a pattern to let light filter in. The box also serves as means to allow travel from one side to the other in the atrium, via bridges and stairs. Two columns are strategically spaced within the 80-ft by 100-ft atrium opening, allowing for support of the bridges and partial floors and further filling the atrium space. The roof of the newly added penthouse level also serves to cover the atrium opening. New, 103-foot-long glu-lam beams clear-span the atrium opening, while supporting a random layout of penthouse roof columns. The new penthouse, which was constructed above the existing roof deck, rings the atrium and provides office space and exterior decks with spectacular views to the City. Civil engineering work included the design of new sanitary sewer, storm drainage, fire protection and domestic water services, and design of curb and sidewalk improvements to three sides of the block on which the building is located.

The Weiden + Kennedy project was one of now Principal Blake Patsy’s earliest with KPFF in 1996. Learn more about Blake here: http://www.kpff.com/people/principal/blake-patsy-se-managing-principal

Awards & Recognition

  • Best Energy Efficiency Business Award, Oregon Office of Energy, 2000
  • Design Citation Award, Progressive Architecture, 1999