Along with major trends like sustainability and condo building, the rise of more studio-sized firms in Portland over the last several years has been encouraging.
One of the latest to take root is Seed Architecture, which is headed by Darin Dougherty, whose resume includes two other first-rate local firms, Skylab Design and Architropolis. His business partner Greg is a contractor, so Seed anticipates being able to handle both design and construction, a very enticing package. As if that weren’t enough, Greg also has founded on the side a sustainable surface (counter tops, tile) manufacturing company, Fuez.
Seed also is one of the few smaller firms you’ll find that’s invested in BIM software, which allows them to design with real-time budget information. “A big issue I often ran into working for other architects was designing way past a budget,” Dougherty says. “Some times double or triple even. Being able to see your budget change every time you change design is a powerful tool.”
Although the company is only a few months old (the house at left is one of their first projects), they currently are working on an office remodel and, on a larger scale, a modern development of 12 single family homes located in Beaverton. If this winds up happening, it ought to be huge for Seed—and Beaverton. The firm also owns on North Greeley near the Adidas campus, which they’re developing into a sustainable mixed-use home for Seed’s office and other tenants. And Seed may be involved with building a housing development in St. Johns involving shipping containers.
The firm has also been to design and build a project on a rural twenty-acre site in Anacordes, Washington shooting for net-zero or off-grid energy use. That would be significantly beyond LEED platinum. They also had an entry in the city's recent courtyard housing competition, seen at left.
With a little luck, the firm will soon outgrow its own name. But then again, Mature Plant Architecture doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.