Our award-winning New York Industrial Building is the first multi-storied industrial building in Portland in over 60 years. So it might seem strange that we consider it a glimpse of the future. Before the automobile, factories were often the tallest structures within a city. They needed to be close to markets where they could vend their goods, close to water and railway transport to ship their goods, and near to the residences of workers who made their goods. To maximize space on expensive city plots owners built up. Then came the auto. As cars and trucks transformed the shipping industry and decentralized our urban cores; as denizens increasingly grew tired of smokestacks in their backyards; and as modern building materials and techniques made cheap open structures possible, factories became single-storied buildings on large plots of suburban land. And many thought this was right and good, but of course, times have changed.
Ideas of sustainability and local-living take priority in our planning now. Years of urban sprawl have renewed an urgency to reinforce our city cores. Portland has been at the forefront of this way of thinking for a long time. The first statewide urban growth boundary in the country was signed into Oregon law in 1973. Portland has also been central to the resurgent craft economy enabled by online marketplaces—and we have long since “gone local.” And as these modern craftspeople slowly scale up their businesses (along with the advent of newer, greener forms of manufacturing) we’re seeing the need for light industry within city limits restored. It’s at the intersection of these varied points where we see the idea of vertical factories reborn.
The New York Industrial Building houses approximately 120,000 ft2 of industrial space within a 24,000 ft2 footprint: that would be three Portland city blocks in a single-story open design. We’ve made the inside spaces endlessly flexible; each floor can accommodate up to 14 tenants—one tenant can take an entire floor or anything less. Two loading docks and two elevators (one for people and one for freight) allow for easy access to renter’s spaces. Each floor has consolidated common areas for bike storage, showers, restrooms and cleaning closets. And the 6 story building is designed to reference Portland’s rich vertical industrial past while modernizing its environmental impact with natural lighting, natural ventilation, green roofs, and storm water planters. Vertical industrial construction symbolizes our belief in dense, diverse urban cores. Reintegrating industry into city life means that not just office workers will live in our urban areas. The New York is a prototype of what we hope will be the norm in our more sustainable, self-sufficient, and socially equitable future metropoles.
civil | structural
mechanical | plumbing