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Global Technology Transfer Group took the original breathtaking elements of a penthouse built in 1927 and blended them with the needs of the modern workplace, an ideal space for the Portland-based patent transaction firm. JHL Design were engaged by Global Technology Transfer Group, a boutique patent transaction firm, to design their offices located in Portland, Oregon.

The penthouse of this 1927 building was vacant for several years. It’s character and large expanses of glass that overlooked downtown Portland made it a desirable space for the re-location of this tech office.

It felt like no other space in Portland. The unique character of the walls, the form and the raw qualities were breathtaking. JHL’s owner, Holly Freres, was adamant on maintaining the character of the original architecture.

JHL first began by working on the layout and flow of the space. Rather than enclosing the core of the space like traditional offices, we wanted to keep the central space open to accentuate the high ceilings and dramatic architecture. Additionally, the open space would serve for casual gatherings, open work space and communal dining.

The vision of Creative Director, Liz Morgan, was to create an intimate entryway off of the elevator with a lower ceiling and textured, dark-stained wallpaper. This was both a practical and aesthetically important move. It created a sense of intimacy and a dramatic transition into the full-height space while also serving as a concealed location for mechanical equipment.

The materiality was an important part of the story. The clients work with many Japanese companies and lived in Kyoto for many years. We developed a space with a subtle nod to Japanese forms and materials. The custom office wall system was built out of Alaskan Yellow Cedar which is a typical material you would find in Japanese architecture. In an effort to add to the already rich historical texture of the building, we used hand-woven textiles and rugs, textured stone, hand-glazed tiles and cast bronze that will naturally patina over time.

The space has nine private offices, a shared work table, three lounge seating areas and a kitchenette.

Design: JHL Design
Design Team: Holly Freres, Liz Morgan, Kelsey Sikkema, Chandler Redding
Contractor: Hammer & Hand
Photography: Haris Kenjar

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