Thesis HQ

From the International Mass Timber Conference

  • Events, Seminars & Workshops
  • ·
  • Mass-engineered Timber
  • ·

Client: Thesis HQ Developer: Thesis, PHK Development Architect: LEVER Structural Engineer: Holmes US Contractor: Swinerton

Thesis is a digital agency in Portland, Oregon, who have decided to double down on community by investing in a new HQ building. The four-storey, 3700m² building is scheduled to be completed in late 2023.

The gravity system is highly repetitive. It comprises of concrete topped CLT (cross laminated timber) floors spanning between glulam frames. The quality of the hidden beam to column connections is impressive. The structural grid has been optimised for the CLT flooring, meaning there are closely spaced columns in one direction, but rather than making the space feel congested, they become a feature. Even on a grey day, the exposed timber ceiling makes the space feel warm. Another benefit of this ‘one-way’ gravity system is it allows the glazing to extend uninterrupted right up to the CLT ceiling.

The lateral system (concrete shear walls), stairs, lifts, main services reticulation, and plant spaces are all located in the middle of the building—leaving the exterior spaces open and flexible in how they are partitioned and used. Everything has been well thought through and coordinated to create a simple yet highly effective building.

Project features include a large ground floor space that will have terraced seating for speakers and presentations. This space will also be able to be opened to the outside, creating a strong indoor-outdoor connection. The project is targeting LEED Gold, a sustainability certification similar to Green Star here in New Zealand, so as well as using locally sourced timber, it will have rigorous energy use reduction strategies and on-site renewables—including a 54.6kw solar array.

This is an example of a ‘smart project’, as mentioned by Lisa above. This is the type of building she believes could easily be replicated here in New Zealand. If you think you have a project that could be a contender, please reach out; Lisa would love to help it be realised.