Casework Transforms an Industrial Building Into a Sleek, Contemporary Workspace

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By Anna Squier
Casework infuses an industrial building in Portland, Oregon, with stylish interiors and inspired spaces for creative thinking.

The Portland, Oregon, branch of digital agency Work & Co teamed up with local interiors firm Casework to design a contemporary workspace that supports the company's growing team. With a clean, minimal palette, the new space provides a serene environment for the company's creative minds to recharge. 

The open kitchen is the central hub of the office. It is a space to gather, take a break, and share ideas. Modern furnishings in molded black plywood and light ash tie in with the muted, industrial palette.

The open kitchen is the central hub of the office. It is a space to gather, take a break, and share ideas. Modern furnishings in molded black plywood and light ash tie in with the muted, industrial palette.

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The kitchen space is open to the community after hours for special events.

The kitchen space is open to the community after hours for special events.

Located in the historic New Chinatown area of Portland, the annex building in which Work & Co resides contributes to the area's historic significance and the inviting character of Portland's creative community. The new workspace highlights the existing building, complimenting the industrial style with edited, refined interiors.

Work & Co infused contemporary style into an industrial building in a prominent Portland, Oregon neighborhood.

Work & Co infused contemporary style into an industrial building in a prominent Portland, Oregon neighborhood.

The muted, refined palette acts a backdrop to productive and creative work.

The muted, refined palette acts a backdrop to productive and creative work.

White walls, concrete floors, and maple wood are used throughout the open, two-story volume. Black accents pop from space to space while tying in with the building's existing black window frames. Tall ceilings and grand windows allow natural light to fill work areas. Greenery and soft seating are dotted throughout the plan, bringing the comforts of home to the workplace.

Casework's founder and creative director, Casey Keasler, collaborated closely with Work & Co to create a flexible space that embraces the digital agency's unique culture and growing team.

Casework's founder and creative director, Casey Keasler, collaborated closely with Work & Co to create a flexible space that embraces the digital agency's unique culture and growing team.

The office spaces are set up for flexibility.  Custom-made desks include hidden troughs for wire management and accessibility.

The office spaces are set up for flexibility. Custom-made desks include hidden troughs for wire management and accessibility.

White walls and concrete floors are accented by greenery and lush lounge settings.

White walls and concrete floors are accented by greenery and lush lounge settings.

Operable glass garage doors surround the two-story atrium, connecting the upper and lower floors as one open, collaborative workspace.

Operable glass garage doors surround the two-story atrium, connecting the upper and lower floors as one open, collaborative workspace.

Open to the story above, the library is filled with daylight—even though it is located on the lower level.  A wood wall and custom built-ins draw warmth into the reading area.

Open to the story above, the library is filled with daylight—even though it is located on the lower level. A wood wall and custom built-ins draw warmth into the reading area.

The lower level also holds meeting rooms.  Glazed openings allow the open concept to extend onto the lower level.

The lower level also holds meeting rooms. Glazed openings allow the open concept to extend onto the lower level.

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Sayl Basic Work Chair
Sayl Basic Work Chair
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Urban Outfitters Alana Bookshelf
Urban Outfitters Alana Bookshelf
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Everlane Women's Wool Academy Blazer
Everlane Women's Wool Academy Blazer
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It was critical that the space adapt to the company's unique working style, which prioritizes collaboration. Private desks, meeting rooms, and relaxing lounge areas provide functional spaces for the staff to do their best work. An open kitchen, similar to a modern coffee shop, acts as the heart of the office. It's a true gathering space where workers share ideas and take breaks. 

The wood slats suspended from the ceiling draw warmth into the room while improving acoustics in the open space.

The wood slats suspended from the ceiling draw warmth into the room while improving acoustics in the open space.

Large, black-framed windows maintain the original character of the building while drawing in natural lighting.  A custom built-in ledge and banquette provide alternative working seating in a collaborative environment.

Large, black-framed windows maintain the original character of the building while drawing in natural lighting. A custom built-in ledge and banquette provide alternative working seating in a collaborative environment.

Modern white pendant lights from Schoolhouse hang above the open kitchen island.   The geometric splash and open wood shelves continue into the kitchen.

Modern white pendant lights from Schoolhouse hang above the open kitchen island. The geometric splash and open wood shelves continue into the kitchen.

Phone booths provide private spaces for phone calls or focus work.

Phone booths provide private spaces for phone calls or focus work.

Work & Co sought to create a collaborative, open space that would allow its employees to do their best work.

Work & Co sought to create a collaborative, open space that would allow its employees to do their best work.

This contemporary space allows ideas to develop and flourish not only within the company, but out into the greater Portland community as well. A large, upper-level meeting room and adjacent break room supports all team meetings during the day, and all community events after hours. Work, home, and community stylishly blend into the historic, industrial shell.

Related Reading: From Drab to Dreamy: 8 Ways to Upgrade Your Workspace 

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Gabe Dominek Architecture

General Contractor: BnK Construction

Interior Design: Casework / casework.it

Cabinetry Design/Installation: Gunderson Construction

AV Consultant: Tone Proper

Custom Desk Design: Parnell Design and FabricationBolster Furniture

Custom Acoustic Ceilings: 9Wood