West of West®
An Architecture & Design Studio

ODOT Blocks


ODOT Blocks
Portland, OR


We created a contemporary industrial campus for Portland’s Central Eastside. The scheme includes three mixed use buildings that combine industrial office, maker space, and ground level retail.  The three-block configuration forms an interconnected industrial promenade that supports the needs of ground level industrial tenants while also making space for large public events in the central eastside. 


The ODOT Blocks lie at the heart of the Central Eastside District, occupying three blocks at the neighborhood’s geographic center. Accordingly, our project has the potential to bring new energy and activation to this urban environment.


Industrial Promenade

Our proposal is centered around a contemporary version of the industrial loading dock. The docks are situated along a north/south spine that connects all three parcels.


Ground Level Programming

Each parcel features both industrial and retail activity at the ground level. Thirty percent of each parcel’s site area is dedicated to ground-level industrial flex space.


Community Connections

Our goal is to create a porous edge along Water Avenue to both activate the existing street and to support our industrial promenade. Main Street, Salmon Street and Taylor Street will all provide access to the promenade.


Campus Character

We propose three distinct buildings that are architectural cousins rather than siblings. While the campus is designed as a cohesive whole, each building will offer a unique take on the industrial warehouse typology and utilize its own material palette.


Industrial Promenade

By day it functions as part loading zone part pedestrian walkway. After the maker spaces close the promenade transitions into serving as a shared community space for events and gatherings. Inspired by the form and function of a traditional loading dock, the promenade provides access and wayfinding to ground floor industrial tenants. The graphic language of the loading dock creates a unique identity across all three blocks: hazard colors of red, yellow and orange signify industry while also infusing the space with color.


Public Events

The Central Eastside has become home to a growing number of large-scale public events, many of which strengthen and celebrate the neighborhood’s businesses and makers. During evenings, our industrial promenade will provide a convenient and central location to host these events. By shutting down industrial traffic and fully opening the promenade to the public, we will create one of the largest public gathering spaces in the Central Eastside.


Industrial Office

The upper levels of each building are dedicated to industrial office use and host a variety of employers in the technology, creative, and light-industrial fields. Designed to utilize the latest heavy timber construction techniques, the glulam interior structure is sustainable, cost-effective, and highly attractive to tenants and visitors. The heavy timber also responds to the historic "brick and beam" building type found throughout the Central Eastside. The levels allowed by the heavy timber offer large open floor plates and high ceilings which provide light deep into the building.


Roof top views

The exterior roof decks of each building provides a desirable amenity for tenants. Green roof design elements help to mitigate storm water runoff and contribute to Portland’s progressive green infrastructure initiatives. The roof decks also offer captivating views of the industrial neighborhood, Downtown, and the picturesque Mt. Hood in the distance.


Parcel A
The project’s northernmost location, its modernized gabled roof form creates expanded volumes of office space on its upper levels while pockets of landscape space dotted throughout the lower levels enable users to gather along Water Avenue, Portland's envisioned urban bike highway.


Parcel B
As the project's middle parcel, the building sits between Salmon and Main Street. The iconic sawtooth roof signifies a traditional industrial form that pours natural light into the building.


Parcel C
Overhanging the Hawthorne Bridge and Main Street, the third building's lower three floors are pulled away from the busy thoroughfare to allow for more subdued daylight to enter the building. The building's upper face turns to address the bridge and engage the city's activity.


Architect: West of West
Client: LPC West
Contractor: Howard S. Wright
Status: Competition Entry