For the first Portland Architecture post following the Thanksgiving holiday, it is only fitting to thank the sponsors that make this site possible. When the blog began in February 2005, there was just one sponsor. Today there are ten, each a local business or nonprofit with relation to the design and building industry, and each an exemplary presence.
BetterBricks is the longest-serving sponsor on the site and acts as one of two top-level Lead Sponsors. An initiative of the region-wide Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance serving Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, the nonprofit BetterBricks' goal is to help business professionals understand the power of energy efficiency to make a real difference in their buildings and in their business. It’s about how to make buildings work harder and smarter. That's done through building awareness and demand for energy efficiency in buildings, and providing pragmatic and comprehensive information about energy efficiency and its benefits. BetterBricks supports the marketplace’s capability to deliver efficient products and services.
Nominations are also now open for the 2011 BetterBricks Awards, which celebrate the achievements of standout leaders whose work supports the design and operations of high performance buildings throughout the Northwest. If you'd like to nominate a talented and accomplished green building professional, click here.
Portland Architecture's other lead sponsor is Glacier Window & Door, the premiere provider of Loewen windows and doors. Loewen is one of the world's most esteemed manufacturers of this superior product, delivering an unrivaled combination of performance, artisanship and environmental sensibility in an extensive line of Douglas Fir, Mahogany and FSC Douglas Fir windows and doors.
Loewen also offers an entire division, Loewen Architectural Services (LAS), with an Architectural Solution Center to provide technical support, design consultation and problem solving assistance. Their team of architectural consultants are available by phone or email, providing personalized pre-design, design and technical expertise to the entire architectural community.
The longest-running donor at Portland Architecture's Sponsor level is Portland Modern, featuring the talents of real estate broker Bob Zaikoski. Although Bob has a unique niche selling some of the city's most renowned contemporary and historic midcentury homes by architects like John Yeon and builders like Robert Rummer (including this current property for sale), he doesn't stop there. Bob has also become a very accomplished videographer and documentarian, using impressively serene camera movement and tracking shots to present designers and designs with a visual clarity rarely seen in amateur video. Take this piece he recently directed on Yeon, one of Portland's top 20th Century architects:
It's easy to talk about our next Sponsor, the superlative furniture store Hive Modern. Hive was founded in 2002 with the idea that good design can and should be presented in an inspired, knowledgeable and friendly manner. From humble beginnings fueled primarily on inspiration, Hive has grown to inhabit its own free-standing building in the Pearl District as an authorized retailer for high-end furniture brands like Alessi, Artemide, Artifort, Carl Hansen, Cassina, Flos, Kartell, Knoll & Vitra to name just a few. Hive has been noted in national magazines such as Dwell, Index, In Style, and Western Interiors + Design.
As it happens, Hive is also having a big sale right now: 15 percent off and free delivery on all Herman Miller items, through December 13. Buy a chair and tell them Portland Architecture sent you.
Kudos also go to Alternative Surfaces, one of the Sponsors that joined the blog this year. Alternative Surfaces delivers seamless surfacing with a sophisticated look, creating inspirational space from the ground up.
"Born out of a desire to be a little more than your average surfacing company, we install a wide range of non-traditional finishes or alternative surfaces for residential and commercial clients," their website reads. "We specialize in seamless surfacing solutions – from recycled glass and natural quartz flooring, crystal glass wall systems to full broadcast systems for garage floors and warehouses. Our team is dedicated to providing innovative, practical, proven floor and wall surfacing solutions for your individual design requirements with an emphasis on sustainability and green materials."
Among Alternative Surfaces' recent projects are a custom color combination for a guest bathroom feature wall for internationally renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, comprised of 100% recycled crystal glass and cobalt blue tinted glass.
Building Arts Workshop also joined Portland Architecture as a Sponsor this year. An award winning, Portland Oregon based design-build firm with complementary disciplines of architect and general contractor, their work is guided by the principals of sustainability and designed for modern life. From natural daylighting to project management, the practices of architecture and construction are woven pursuing one goal – well crafted buildings in the mediums of light and material.
Tracy and Jeffrey Prose founded Building Arts Workshop with the deliberate approach that every project – new or remodel, residential or commercial – reflect purpose, place and client. By combining the roles of architect and builder, each project advances under guidance of the shared goals of design, constructability, and budget. For many clients, the design-build method replaces the time and cost intensive aspects of design-bid-build with a streamlined project process.
Earlier this year, Building Arts Workshop was also invited to submit their work for the up-coming book Building Green, by international publisher Sandu.
We also can't forget Hammer & Hand, the Portland construction company and design-build expert that also became a Sponsor this year. Hammer & Hand distinguishes itself in a number of ways, but especially through craftsmanship and a devotion to sustainability. One case in point: owner Sam Hagerman has been elected as the first president of the new Passive House Alliance. Hammer & Hand also has been active in lobbying the City of Portland to relax its regulation of accessory dwelling units, a move that could free up a great deal of new small-scale residential development in the city. They also offer handyman service, home energy use analysis and more. Best of all, though, I like visiting Hammer & Hand's offices, where one can find not only a group of craftspersons and building experts, but also an array of custom furniture the company crafts from discarded materials.
As it happens, a few weeks ago I hosted a panel discussion at Hammer & Hand devoted to accessory dwelling units in Portland, featuring Hagerman as well as Lee Hiltenbrand, a building inspector from the city Development Bureau, Dan Lajoie of Departure Design, Valerie Garrett of the city's Office of Planning & Sustainability, and realtor David Todd of Meadows Group.
Karl Lind and his company, In the Can LLC, also comprise a much-appreciated Portland Architecture sponsor. Karl is a film and video jack of all trades: an award winning filmmaker who also acts as a videographer, editor, DVD author, curator and publisher. Karl helped me produce my latest short-film DVD collection, Along the Way, and has also worked with a bevy of acclaimed local filmmakers and advertising agencies. Most of all, he's exceptionally good natured and easy to work with.
If you don't believe me, check out this story about Karl published a few days ago on the film blog Oregon Movies A to Z: "Portland turned Karl Lind into a filmmaker," writes Anne Richardson, "and he has returned the favor by contributing on every conceivable front to Portland’s burgeoning film scene."
Here is a video Karl produced for the nonprofit Dill Pickle Club, about local muralists:
Finally, Portland Architecture's newest sponsor is real estate broker Marisa Swenson of Modern Homes Portland and M Realty. Marisa has a particular passion for modern architecture, design, mid-century modern, contemporary modern, and vintage style.
"I keep my fingers to the pulse of the modern real estate market in Portland," Marisa says. "I search new listings daily for mid century modern, contemporary modern, and architecturally interesting homes." She provides market analysis, sales histories, inspection report analysis, referrals to the best designers, mortgage brokers, and home inspectors, and more. "Being a native Portlander, I have a vast knowledge of the local economy, activities, restaurants, and neighborhoods," she adds.
Among the properties Marisa has for sale are a vintage 1955 Portland home designed by the celebrated midcentury architect John Storrs.
Meanwhile, thanks again to all of the generous companies, nonprofits and individuals who have sponsored Portland Architecture this year and in years past. Looking ahead, the goal is to make this blog ultimately more of a multi-contributor online magazine with content added daily. And sponsors are essential partners in making that happen. So thanks, gang!