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billb

Things change , we are all hurting but I know ol Jeff Lamb will design again , Go Jeff !

j

how much of the downfall of this firm was the allegro? seems like they put a lot into this project only to have it go nowhere.

or did this project have little to nothing to do with it?

b.

I am sorry to see it go, but not wholly unexpected.

Memories:

Sienna was great place for interns. Studio atmosphere with self direction (thrown into the deep end - sink or swim experiences)

Great "urban infill" mantra - At times not well executed at completion (whether that is the fault of the Architect, developer or contractor - the Architect is always blamed).

Finally, my erudition at sienna brought memories of great people and difficult situations. Proud of them for expanding their personal boundaries; Disappointed that the potential was never fully realized.

R.I.P.

Michael Sparks

Brian:

You are wrong. DJC came out with the story two days ago and then published remarks from Lee Winn, the other principal/owner besides Reddick (please note correct spelling of name) yesterday, full day before your fine article (albeit with mispellings).

I am not sorry to see Sienna go - you say they are good people, but actually, they are users who have NOT paid their bills nor have they treated people well for years. As to relevance, please point to what actually got built from their 15 years of diddling around as Sienna Architecture?

Good bye and good riddance. My greatest disappointment and fear is that Reddick will continue to "practice" architecture. Jeff Lamb is crazy for continuing to collaborate with him.

ellen

In my opinion the Allegro is a symbol of Sienna's hubris, an expression of pure architectural ego -- a desire to make their mark on the skyline -- with zero sensitivity to the site or the neighborhood. The fact that it got as far as it diid merely reflects the widespread greed and shortsightedness that kept inflating the real estate bubble here.

anon

mark me down as another who isn't sorry to sienna go down. but isn't this old news? i think most everyone knew about sienna sometime about early december. i also think most everyone around town knows about the bad reputation associated w/ reddick. portland is a small town like that.

dennis

ellen I am not arguing your feelings towards Sienna because I think we all have our different opinions, but I do want to point out something about Allegro and the sensitivity to the neighborhood. You realize that that neighborhood has been marked by the city planning department to become a much denser area. The area that the tower would of been constructed in is marked for 250ft high and this includes the land that the high school is on.

Just pointing out that the current integrity of that area will eventually change...this tower might of failed, but the next one might not. And if anything happens at that high school, I can guarantee it isn't going to be single family homes and small buildings.

Brian Libby

Michael Sparks, thanks for the corrections on Lee Winn's name. I apologize for that.

As for the "good riddance" comments, there very well may be bad decisions made that Sienna bears responsibility for, along with their clients and fellow building team members. In the 1990s they were pushing the frontier of urban infill without a lot of local experience to draw from. Even if Sienna doesn't have a portfolio of great buildings, they very much were an early pioneer in that regard. I also find your venom towards Reddick personally to be unfortunate. I think it's too bad that an architecture firm committed to density and striving towards high end design has to go out of business. Wouldn't you want people taking the high road if you had a firm that closed? I'm not looking to whitewash Sienna's history by any means, but hostility to me is often a telltale sign someone's not looking at the issue very rationally or holistically.

Brian Libby

Also, I originally wrote in this post that the Daily Journal of Commerce had the first story but my Oregonian story had the first quotes from Sienna, but it sounds like I was mistaken. So I apologize to the DJC and readers. The DJC can have its big ol' scoop. Not that it's relevant, but I interviewed Reddick and Lamb nearly a week ago and we waited a few days to publish the story, at Reddick's request.

anon

as someone who worked with the two "gentlemen" in the new V3 Studio, it is a shame to see them puffing out and demonstrating their Hero pose in the photograph from this morning...much of the demise of Sienna falls squarely on their shoulders. Their lack of accountability and the frivilous architectural decoration will continue in their new endeavor, I am afraid.

ellen

Dennis
You are right that the design for the Allegro met code. That is why I said it got as far as it did due to "widespread greed and shortsightedness." I believe the city's plan to load the Goose Hollow flats with high rise (and therefore high end) condos is mis-guided, and mainly aims to promote development at the cost of livability. That is the opposite of sensitive urban infill. The last thing Portland needs is another South Waterfront.

Michael Sparks

<>

Now YOU sound a little hostile Brian.

Wouldn't you want the DJC to take the high road if they made the same mistake you did? I suggest you look at this both rationally and holistically.

Michael Sparks

One final comment Brian and then I'll shut up - you wrote that you "interviewed Reddick and Lamb nearly a week ago and you waited a few days to publish the story at Reddick's request." WELCOME TO THE CLUB! You were screwed by Reddick just like everyone else. (holistically of course).....

ben

both personally and professionally, lamb and reddick are untrustworthy egomaniacs. it is no secret.

Bambi

Ben, I have no problem with ego - you need an overdose of ego if you are a true architect/artist. That and some other unsavory attributes go with the territory. But frankly, Reddick has consistently shown through the years all the bad attributes of an architect and none of the good attributes. A lot can be forgiven if there is talent. I haven't seen it and I have been a Portland practitioner for 25 years. In the article Mr. Libby writes "Profiles of Reddick in Architecture Magazine and the Harvard Design Review" were glowing. Well, sorry, but who do you think writes those profiles? The firm's PR company that's who. They are then submitted to the magazines. Anyone who thinks these are honorable people should talk to the hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of people they have cheated including consultants.

eric cantona

i've said it elsewhere, and i'll say it again - good riddance. what goes around, comes around as they say. seems a shame they'll just be able to continue under a different name.

Brian - i urge you to ask around to get a broader picture of Reddick's story on how he came to take over JKS. it's but one unsavory story that colors everything that he's done in this town. talk to some of his and Lamb's ex female employees and see what they think. maybe even talk to one or two of the subconsultants that have been shorted.

they've cut a large swath of questionable business practices, and even worse detailing through the history of Sienna. you always know a Sienna project by the blue tarp that enfolds it a year or so after it's built.

target

Brian:
You might want to check up on the "great designers" you note in your article. The The Lostaos and Ridiculous Design are not architects nor have they been retained by McCormick & Schmick's Restaurants as clients. You might want to check with that restaurant company regarding the "spin" that you were sold by the designers before furthering their press coverage.

Anthony Rimore

Target:
This is Anthony Rimore. I worked with the Lostaos 15 years ago at Arquitectonica as well as well as here in Portland at the ill-fated Sienna Architecture. I have known them for close to 20 years. It is patently unfair and untrue that they are not designers and you should be ashamed of yourself. They are held in very high regard in the design industry. Also, do you deny that they were just published in Metropolitn Home for their Black & White House? As for McCormick and Schmick's, I happen to know that they ARE working for them. So I don't know where you are getting your information, but if you have the cohones to stop hiding behind some anonymous name, I invite you to call me so I can further educate you and try to lead you out of ignorance. My phone number is 503.528.4001. Stop your nonsense.

eenie

Much as I like the image of "bell weather" (I'm picturing a gale wind and towers full of jangling bells), the actual term is "bellwether," and refers to a castrated ram (Lamb?) with a bell around its neck.

anon

Target- you are right on target.

Anthony, the name says it all - "ridiculous".

Brian, the choice of combining the Lostaus, Lamb and Reddick in one article, shows a basic lack of research (and judgement) by you on those individuals.

Bad Karma dude

anon

i find it disturbing this firm can shut down and file for bankruptcy protection, leaving a pile of unpait bills (think: engineers, landscape architects, surveyors, cost estimators). and then have the nerve to announce the formation of a new company. TYPICAL.

brian - i really enjoy reading your blog everyday. the discussions that your posts inspire in the comments section are interesting and compelling. you bring a different perspective as someone reporting on the industry versus someone working in the industry. but sometimes it is frustrating to read pieces that seem so spoon-fed. this is one of those times.

anon too

Target did not say that the Lostaos were not designers. What was said is that Brian should research the fact that they are not Architects.

An Architect is a person who, following successful completion of an Architectural Degree from an accredited University, has completed a lengthy internship process and has successfully completed the Architectural Registration Exam. Only then are you allowed by the State of Oregon to use the title of Architect (OAR 806-010-0037).

Bambi

anon too:
that means that Jeff Lamb is not an architect either, right? I don't think any of the three have ever mis-represented themselves other than being labeled incorrectly at various times by Mr. Libby and other dilettante writers.

xxxx

to anon to : you still can not be called an'architect' til you sign up w/state and pay the fees [foreva], which support their unregulated witch hunts. Check out the A.Board minutes on line and see the petty things they fine folks for.

anon too

xxxx: You must be referring to the Board enforcing the Laws in the State of Oregon as outlined in their Objective?

"To safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the public, to eliminate unnecessary loss and waste in this state; and to ensure Oregon's citizens receive continued competent architectural services."

Check it out. http://orbae.com/orbae/index.php

b.

Honestly, what I would rather read about would be the untold stories about sienna's few successes and who was really responsible. Sienna's successes can be attributed directly to a few dedicated senior architectural staff and interns who really knew what they were doing. Many of these people left sienna once the projects were complete due to the lack of principle support during those projects.

Much of the bitterness I read here is a direct response to those issues.

Larry

Well, I guess this means that Jeff Lamb is one more step away from the legal judgements, non-payment to attorneys and personal loans that he obtained under his former Lamb Design Studios? It is amazing to think that someone can just turn off their phone to escape obligations and then resurface again later with a new incarnation. His design ideas are good but, come on. I wonder how he sleeps at night. I guess this will just keep going on and on ....

dennis

oh come on, don't turn this into the clarification of what makes someone an architect. The current rules to that are about the dumbest thing I have ever read. No one gets upset when someone is called the "architect of war." one calling themselves an architect should be legal in the sense of the general word. What there needs to be is a definition between licensed and non licensed architect. Only then would they have a foundation to go on.

Besides to add the how stupid the current rule is, if one is licensed in Oregon can call themselves an architect, but when they go on vacation to another state where they are not licensed in, does that mean it is illegal for them to refer as themselves as an architect in that state?

But back on the topic at hand (oh and thank you ellen for the response, there is a difference between what architects do and zoning departments do, I just wanted to make sure there was some clarification there). There is clearly people who have sour feelings towards the heads of this firm, but taking it out on Brian for posting about it in the manner that he chose to is wrong, Brian took the high road in this and chose to announce on his website the break up of the firm, he chose not to bad mouth them because that would be a tad juvenile. I will say this though, is that I do have a couple friends that work there and from that point of view I am more concerned about the future of their staff than I am for the heads of the company who will be just fine.

smelly

Brian:
I noticed that you changed Lee Winn's name once (out of 3) with a strikeout...why didn't you do the same with the change for the Lostaus from "Architects" to "designers"

acknowledge your mischaracterizations.

Brian Libby

I have changed the designation of the Lostaos from "architects" to "designers". It's true that sometimes I call people architects who are actually design professionals without official state-approved designations as registered architects. I get frustrated by people always responding so angrily to what I see as little more than semantics, but as I've said before, I understand this is an important issue to some architects.

As I read all these comments, and have had a couple of days since the article came out, I find myself disillusioned by the hostility people have out there.

I never sugarcoated the fact that Sienna has been controversial and has incurred some bad blood. It is true that I may have emphasized their positive accomplishments, or positive intent. I saw this as a business funeral, and thus perhaps chose to accentuate the positive. But that's something different than being "spoon fed".

Anon, to answer your accusation, I wasn't spoon fed a story by Sienna. I've followed architecture for over a decade in Portland, and I was here when Sienna experienced lawsuits and other trouble. I could have emphasized those troubles more in the Oregonian article, but was asked to report on Sienna's closing as a symptom of the economy. Did you see a drastically different reporting approach from the Daily Journal of Commerce or another publication covering the story?

Gary Reddick, when I interviewed him, was contrite and only expressed a desire to keep working in architecture. Most of all, Gary has always acted towards me with professionalism and civility. I can't say the same of everyone leaving comments to this post.

Some of you have gone the extra mile to disagree with me or express skepticism about Sienna while avoiding your own inflamed rhetoric or insults (Anon included). And for that, I'm sincerely appreciative. In other cases when people are hostile or quick to insult, for better or worse I'm going to respond to the negativity and defend myself. I'd rather this be a productive and non-aggressive conversation, no matter what Emperor Palpatine is whispering in my imagination.

Anthony Rimore

Brian:
I really don't think people are being uncivil to you and in general, their criticisms are not that terrible or off-base. I think you are being a little too sensitive. This outpouring of negativity is justified, whether or not you were tasked to report on it. Let me give you my personal story. I was fat and happy as a Principal and Vice President at HOK back East. My biggest flaw? I wanted to move to the Pacific Northwest. I was invited to interview at Sienna and after that interview, witnessing the smoke and mirrors and financial travails (for eg. as I was checking out of my hotel I got a frantic phone call from Sienna asking if I had any trouble since there were "problems" with the company credit card) I wrote a polite letter turning them down. A few months later, I got a phone call from Sienna saying that things were dramatically better and they signed all this work over in Asia ("more work in January than the whole year before") so would I please reconsider. I accepted and when I arrived, found that ALL the work in Asia was really never there, there was no work in the studio and could I please produce some work for them (btw, with no money to support a marketing effort - I couldn't even print a proposal because the color copier was down with no money to fix it). Wouldn't you think they would have taken this into account before they started screwing with my life? How could they be so stupid as to believe there was really any work for them in Asia? What's worse, I had a personal trip to Shanghai planned and Gary asked me to hop over to Hong Kong to assess the status of proposed business ventures. It took me less than a day to figure out that the whole thing was a sham and there was no business to be had. Would Sienna listen? Of course not. Countless thousands of dollars were still thrown away on useless trips to feed an insatiable ego to feel relevant - at the cost of all the Associate Principals and professional staffs livelihoods and lives. So feel free to take the high road, while I and other previous Sienna employees try to feed the children, pay the mortgage and continue to exist because of the ignorance, hubris, ego, negligence and selfishness of the owners of Sienna. My fatal mistake - I believed the bullshit that came out of their mouths. There was no "perfect storm" that drove Sienna out of business. Just a couple of immature adolescents who wanted to play architect over in Asia and screw the people who worked to support their habit. P.S. They still owe me $800 on an expense report - we'll see if they really pay like they said they will in your blog. And finally, I assure you my story is one of the LEAST horrific of many dedicated employees who were there for years.

Brian Libby

Anthony, point well taken. I'm so sorry for you and others who were victimized. I also may have admittedly been too defensive.

Incidentally, if we're all going to carp about different companies' naive best intentions costing us work and money: Via magazine still owes me $600 from work done in 2002. And Sports Publishing LLC, which went bankrupt last year, owes me at least $2,000.

Anthony Rimore

Brian! Did Via Magazine and Sports Publishing LLC promise in your blog to pay of their debts? My point wasn't about what is owed me (an admittedly small amount) but is it yet another deflection to get off the hook?

Larry

Brian,
I can't say this has "naive best intentions" associated with it ... as the stories here have an eerie familiar ring to them.

ellen

Anthony and others bring up an interesting point. When a firm behaves badly is there an ethical and/or moral responsibility for journalists and/or bloggers to deal with that directly? Shouldn't a firm's reputation in the community include this?

The story of Sienna's downfall is beginning to sound a lot more like karma than a consequence of the economy primarily. I had to laugh when Jeff Lamb tried to make it seem, as quoted by Brian, as if the delay in the Allegro was their undoing. There is a moral to this story, and I think hubris about sums it up.

former Sienna employee

Anthony and Brian:

Anthony, as someone who sweated it out with you, your story is sad but true. I give you props to have the strength to say it (but then I know this about you!).
Brian:
Your $2800 is a pittance compared to the tens (maybe hundreds) of thousands that are owed to a multitude of former employees, let alone other creditors. Many of those employees are without any income and are looking at an empty bag. Take a walk down the street to the Commonwealth Building, like you used to, and see if you see any of the highend computers, furniture, etc. that were there last month. One has to wonder where they went? Hawthorne and 45th?

It is unfortunate that this has happened, no one wanted to see it, let alone those of us who depended on management to make smart business decisions. As Anthony suggested, we (the employees) tried our hardest to help Reddick to run a smart business. To no avail. Ultimately egos and ineptitude sealed the fate of the firm.

Thank you for the opportunity to share our raw feelings about this on your blog.

Brian Libby

Here’s what I hope to be my last contribution to this conversation:

I reported Sienna’s closing in the story and, within the space available, tried to touch on the company’s history while also inquiring into the larger issue of how it relates to the economy. I was well aware of Sienna’s sometimes controversial business practices as I wrote the story, and tried to touch upon that with a quoted source talking about the imprudence of going after non-billable work in Asia. I think that makes the question of a moral journalistic responsibility, alluded to in a previous comment, moot.

However, I still have respect for what Sienna – and Sienna specifically, not JKS Architecture – tried to do. If there are Sienna condos in town that drew lawsuits or were built too cheaply, than in the broader history of Portland architecture I consider the firm an important pioneer even as they weren’t, apparently, always a well run business. The public acceptance in Portland of lofts and condos we have today didn’t exist in the early to mid-1990s, when Gary was championing this kind of urban housing. Somebody has to stumble a little before the others do it smoothly.

I feel bad for those people who were let down by the firm, really. Sympathy was an overriding concern in writing the article. And I can personally sympathize with anyone who has been cheated out of money they have coming from a defunct business – publishers fold, too. (That's why I cited the SP and Via numbers to Anthony.)

Aside from spelling Lee Winn’s name wrong, I don’t regret the way the Oregonian story was written. What I do regret is getting involved here in the comments section. It seems like this is the most appropriate place for people with sour Sienna grapes to make their feelings heard, if that needs to happen. As is evident, I can be a little defensive sometimes when I sense even a hint of hostility. But it’s also an easy thing to do when people are writing in anonymously to tell you you’re not doing your job right, or you’re naïve, or have some sinister agenda. I’ve been up late working on writing deadlines the last few days, and I’m feeling extra fatigued (I know some of you unfortunate laid-off people reading this only wish you had enough work to make such a problem), so more than usual I feel a desire to back out of this and take a walk in the sunshine. I urge everybody to do the same.

Larry

Your "Sienna Story" is very much appreciated. There are other parts to the story that a number of posters have mentioned ... that make the "Sienna Story" atypical when considering how the story relates to the economic problems that many other architectural firms are facing.

I appreciate your work very much and also appreciate the insight that the posters have provided, as well.

Michelle, another former Sienna employee

Brian, I appreciate the information you provided here, and also the readers' comments. I also *really* appreciate Tony Rimore being bold enough to have his full name attached to his comments. Being simply "anon" strikes me as cowardly, especially if you rant with vitriol. But, as you can see from my signoff, some of us aren't as brave as Tony, maybe because Portland is a small town, after all, and we're unemployed due to Sienna's rampant bad decision making and partisan in-house politics but need to not burn any bridges. While at Sienna, I really enjoyed most of the projects I worked on and I strived for excellence in both design and execution. I enjoyed the people I worked with there as well. But Sienna, as a business, was completely unsustainable. As one of my co-workers put it "Sienna (was) like a reeling drunk who stumbles and falls, gets up, bleeding, oblivious, and orders another shot." Eventually the bartender stops serving...

Anthony Rimore

Michelle:
I assure you, being committed to the betterment of the Portland environment, it was unleaded vitriol!

j

as for that picture...

is there some law that to be an 'architect' you have to wear a tight black shirt or black turtleneck? just about every architect i can think of this is the case and this photo is yet another example.

Tommyd

Being a student that just graduated, it is interesting to see the two sides of the story when in all actuality I never really knew the company that well. This article (thanks Brian) as well as the comments have opened up my eyes to the prevailing world of the architecture community and how things can be smoke and mirrors, or truly genuine.

Being that I inquired with Sienna awhile ago about an opening for an internship (or if they had anything available) and currently am still looking to break way into the architecture community, I find it difficult to effectively seek employment within Portland due to the situations as stated here. Some firms may be great and a joy to work for, while others hide the difficulties and you never hear a thing about the downfalls.

Being newly introduced into the design community here in Portland, its hard to tell what a company has to offer you, unless you are friends or acquaintances with someone who knows the true aspect on how each firm operates. This said, I am sad to see another firm in Portland go downhill, leaving workers unemployed with one less firm to design for. With the way the economy is now, it makes it that much tougher for anyone... let alone a newbie like me to land a job.

Thanks Brian for the article, as I enjoy reading your blog everyday. And thanks to everyone from Sienna that expressed their views on the situation. Hopefully in short time, things will pick back up and sometime in the future I may get the privilege to work with you.

~td

Jazz

Anthony and Brian:
I believe that what “Anon”, “Target”, and others are talking about in their comments is that if either the media or an individual refers to themselves as an “architect” in this State (and are not “licensed”) it is often followed up by The State Board of Architects knocking on their door to investigate. The consequences can include stiff fines from the State and even barring of becoming a Licensed Architect in Oregon. If you don’t believe me have a look at the State Board’s website and see how many times Jeff Lamb has been brought before the State over the defining term of “Architect” or “Architectural Practice”. If the Lostao’s, or anyone else for that matter, perpetuate a loose definition of the professional title in this State they will likely find themselves in front of the Ethics Board, not a "club" but a State division of enforcement. Would you call yourself a Doctor or Attorney without the education AND a State License, I think not? The State sees no difference, so avoid yourself (and them) the trouble in the first place. For those of you from out-of-state who haven’t understood this yet, P-Town is very “provincial” despite a lot of ethics having “interpretation” and everyone in this industry here know everyone to a sickening degree. Either “Architect” or “Designer”, both the AIA and IIDA have a Code of Ethics that can get you thrown out of your little club for not following them. Even if you DID do the work (such as with the afore mentioned McCormick and Schmicks work by the Lostao’s) AND if you did do it under ANOTHER FRIM --credit that firm if you decide to post it on your personal website.

Gino

As displayed by many of the comments, this was a complex firm (version 2, as their new title indicates) with a very complex history, almost none of which you (Brian) touched on. I assume that's because you don't know the deeper history and chose not to research it. It's not a good or bad history, but it's a lot more complicated than you make out and if you did present a correct history your story might be more interesting. As it is, it is so superficial as to be almost fluff.

This reveals the biggest problem with this blog - it acts the part of being something knowledgeable, but is more of an architecture version of "Extra" - not a bad thing, but the blog doesn't walk it's talk.

kalliope

On the surface Portland is a nice place... but there is more Schadenfreude in this city than I've experienced anywhere. I don't think potential, progress and prosperity are truly welcome here.

Brian Libby

Gino,

I urge you to identify yourself to me and email me at brianlibby@hotmail.com. I'm frustrated by your "Extra" and "doesn't walk its talk" comments, but would love to hear your ideas for what I might be doing differently. I'd love for your ideas about improvement for the blog to be taken seriously by being attached to a public comment or a communication with me directly.

In the Sienna article, I had only about 700 or 800 words to delve into the firm's history, with a lot of other discussion to squeeze in there. What you're suggesting would have taken lots more time and space.

Remember that journalism and blogs are, as the cliche goes, a first draft of history. If you'd like to add to that draft, I think you could be much more helpful and constructive by communicating the information you think is lacking.

On this blog, I've passed on additional information in the Sienna post that supplemented the article. But I'll be the first to admit that I write things here while also juggling a full time freelance writing career. Even as a journalist, I don't have time to delve into long histories and all their details while spending 36 hours writing a 700 word story. Granted I could do that on this blog, but I also have scores of people in the local architecture community asking me to write about their projects or pass on advance notice of their events.

I have never tried to act like I know more than I do. I am a journalist, not an architect, and have mentioned this hundreds of times. I'd like to think I know more about architecture than the average layperson, but would never pretend to know every detail about the craft that most of you spent several years studying. At the same time, I have bent over backwards time and fucking time again to invite people to contribute their ideas and expertise.

If you know so much more than I do about architecture and the history of local firms, or if anyone else does, please email me and help me complete the story. Instead, you're making insulting comments anonymously. I'm sure you mean well, and as I've said in previous comments, I welcome constructive criticism.

I would never in a million years dream of walking into a restaurant and telling the waiter he's not walking his talk in the way he delivers the food. Or go to an evening lecture and tell the speakers they sound as intellectually empty as bad tabloid television. Even if I had temptingly anonymous place to do it.

Gino, please help me back away from this angry, frustrated, defensive side by speaking with me honestly, openly and substantially about what my next blog post should be. Or the next 10. By your tone, it sounds like you know a lot more than I do. Give me a call! I'd be happy to share the sponsor dollars this blog gets if you really do have some compelling insight and expertise to share. Operators are standing by!

Eric Cantona

please note: sienna is not NOT IN ANY WAY representative of portland's design community. in the nearly twenty years i've worked in this town i've not seen a firm generate the level of enmity that they have. please don't allow the comments from myself and others here color anyone's impressions of how the rest of us operate. sienna was a unique firm in my estimation, and should be viewed as an anomaly. there may be others here that operate on a similar level, but i have no knowledge of them.

Brian: i believe that most of us regulars here understand the limitations you have in writing your posts here, and that you're presumably not gaining any great amount (or any) of financial compensation for all this work. so, please accept my thanks for providing this forum. and to Gino: either take Brian up on his offer or STFU.

Industry Outsider

Ha ha ha. The blood is in the water. Now's a time for airing grievances, venting, and smack-talking. I hope the economy turns around so all y'all can belly back up to the trough. With your snouts full, the smack talk will ease up a bit. Best start schmoozing those public officials and gearing up for Portland's new deal.

Matt J

It is so unfortunate for people to not see the bigger picture here. The fact is, whatever your opinion is of Sienna, a long standing architecture firm within the city of Portland has closed its doors. Now is not the time to throw chum into the water, as can be typical of Portland’s architecture community, but the time to rally together and solidify as a profession. I happened to work for Sienna for a good five years just after/during the transition from JKS to Sienna. And, yes, the stories I could tell (but then again, the stories I could tell of other firms in town). That being said, it was a great environment and experience to work for at the time.
I am reminded of a trip up to Vancouver a couple years back. I was touring some buildings with Peter Cardew. I mentioned our group was going to meet up with another, less well known architect, in town. He said something along the lines of “Great. You will love his work. Say hi for me.” In Portland, that might have come out as “Oh, he does some nice stuff. But, …” I almost have this sense that people pooh-pooh work done in this town from certain firms as a matter of course, not as a result of visiting, seeing, and understanding the work.
Keep in mind what is happening here. How many friends, or friends of friends, do you know are out on the street looking for a job? Sienna’s doors might have closed for one reason or another, but, what we need to keep in mind is that no one is immune to what is occurring right now in our field.

Chris Lonigro

Several years ago, I worked at Sienna for 3 It is shameful that people are almost relishing in their demise...especially now. Bad business does not equal bad people. They are both tireless workers always trying to inspire towards an urban future. Right or wrong, they believed they were/are doing the right thing.

Chris Lonigro

It is shameful that people are almost relishing in their demise...especially now. Bad business does not equal bad people. They are both tireless workers always trying to inspire towards an urban future. Right or wrong, they believed they were/are doing the right thing.

Ryan

Don't be naive. Bad business DOES equal bad people. I and many others who have worked at Sienna have no doubt that the emotional turmoil and the grief caused by these principals to the workers at Sienna is inexcusable and borderline cruel. An earlier post asked, "what of significance has been completed by the firm in the last 15 years of existence?" Nothing. Even Brian in his article had to mention a condo done by Jeff Lamb (a gifted designer by the way and NOT a principal at Sienna) while he was at BOORA Architects NOT while he was at Sienna. No one has any joy for people out of work but there is a lot of joy that this firm is no longer operating. I am out of work but I am glad that Sienna is gone. Get real - it was a bad firm, run by bad people who did bad things - period.

Chris Lonigro

Relax Ryan and do not be so hasty to call people naive. I worked at Sienna for 3 years, and Jeff separately for about six months. If people have emotional turmoil and grief because they worked at Sienna, maybe they should not have been working there. Be responsible for yourself, do not rely on your employer to make you happy, and leave if you do not like the work, the employer, or the treatment. And one building that Sienna has completed in the past 15 years would be Cascadian Court in the Lloyd District.

ryan

One building in 15 years - whoo hoo!

Of course, you missed the whole point of my post, it has nothing to do with responsibility for personal happiness. And also, I'm very relaxed -- Sienna is gone, YAY!

another former Sienna employee

The least Sienna could have done is to pay their employees before they kicked them out on the street in a dreary economy with little opportunity for new employment. It is typical behavior for Reddick and Lamb to sidestep accountability by trying to hide under the guise of a new company. Judging by the strong negative reactions posted on this blog I sincerely believe that the word is out on these sultans of spin and that Portland will not support them in their new venture. I wish upon them the same bad fortune and economic instability that their former forgotten employees are suffering through this very moment. Lastly, I am disappointed to have ever been a part of such a dubious enterprise.

me

Great...I'm so happy that they are starting up new businesses and in the meantime, they owe Sienna employees thousands of dollars in wages.

me

Great...I'm so happy that they are starting up new businesses and in the meantime, they owe former Sienna employees thousands of dollars in wages.

Norm Transeth

Reddick and Lamb have owed my small company $17k for over 2 years. They have historically stiffed their creditors. You should follow up on their claim that they plan to pay their debts. You'll notice Reddick didn't elaborate on "when" he was going to pay.
If anyone wants to join me we'll put these mopes into bankruptcy.

Thats J 2 U.

Norm: Not only did Reddick and Lamb stiff consultants, vendors, and landlord they ALSO stiffed their STAFF! A number of us have still NOT BEEN PAID 3 months plus after Sienna closed its doors. I know a few employees who were asked to front international travel expenses for the firm that stretch well into the 5 figures each (yes you read that right) and will likely NEVER be paid. And what of those who never got their paychecks? Well, their year end W2's reflected the paychecks they never got! Outstanding! And where are Reddick and Lamb? They started yet another firm.

building_up

That's crazy! I'm willing to bet there are laws against that! Stiffing your own staff, that's a new low even from the sound of their low standards. Its doubtful anyone at the State or Federal Level even cares enough to look into it. It sounds like the two guys who crashed the company and started yet another one should be investigated. Whats the name of the new firm so I can avoid it?

archi_intern

V-3 Studio "building-up", thats the name of Reddick and Lambs new company. Run Portland! Run for your lives!!!

tampa real estate

We are seeeing very similar development here...I am really a fan of an older style...unusual for someone in the business i know.

Bo-diddie

Here we are 7 months later and what is up about Gary Reddicks statement: (quote) "If you're a building industry company that partnered with Sienna, or a former employee, and still looking for payment, Reddick told me, "We're owed more than we owe," and he intends for Sienna to honor all those obligations."

Nope, nadda, nothing. The debt is still there, and they are walking away from it. Reddick and Lamb started a new firm (V3 Studio) --where did they get all their computers and software--hmmm?
Lee Winn files for personal bankruptcy.
Former Sienna interns are working unpaid for V3 and promised the world if they will stick it out.
Consultants still not paid.
Former employees stiffed out of months of paychecks, benefits, and reimbursable expenses.
Reddick and Lamb will make good huh?

stuart goldhawk

Yes very sad to see them go. We had a few dealings with them with our house demolition division; they are great people. The best of luck.

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