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Belluschi’s Oregonian Building Given New Lease on Life

The former headquarters of the Oregonian newspaper at 1320 SW Broadway will reopen as prime office and retail space in the heart of downtown Portland. One of Pietro Belluschi’s landmark post-war commercial buildings, 1320 Broadway takes full advantage of then-emerging technologies to bring a greater sense of light, space, and connection into the workplace.

Allied Works was approached for the restoration and remodel of the building in 2014 by Seattle-based Urban Renaissance Group; after comparing original drawings with initial site visits, it became apparent how much the building had been compromised by cost saving measures and piece-meal alterations. Our vision for the project was to strip the building back to its intended form and restore the civic scale and spatial flow that were the hallmarks of the original design.

The full block, 280,000sf structure is distributed across six primary levels and includes gracious double- and triple-height spaces at the lobby, the former printing facility, and broadcast spaces for the neighboring television station. These volumes have been restored and given new life with a restrained palette of wood finishes and furnishings that complement the flush glass and concrete frame of the original. New rooftop terraces on three levels offer incoming tenants (including Amazon and Elemental Technologies) spaces of repose and engagement that take full advantage of the buildings prominent location.

Design journalist Brian Libby stated in Portland Architecture: “One has to appreciate the confident sense of balance Allied has brought: to resist putting a heavy-handed fingerprint of its own on the building, but also not so reverential as to resist changes for the future.”

© 2016 Allied Works Architecture