Growing an Urban Campus
When Simple Banking made the decision to move their rapidly growing headquarters to Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District, the goal was not for them to simply occupy a building, but to establish a true urban campus and neighborhood presence. We worked hand-in-hand with Simple to structure a sustainable master plan that would grow seamlessly with the company. 120 Clay, located adjacent to their current headquarters in Clay Creative, will allow Simple to gracefully transition into the next phase of growth.
Early on, we saw potential for this underutilized site, with easy access to bike routes and public transportation options. The site would later prove critical to the success of Clay Creative, allowing Simple to work with us to develop a long-term, multi-phase partnership that could be realized in tandem with projected business growth.
The new building, underway with a 2017 completion, uses many of the same design principles that make Clay Creative such an inspiring place to work—heavy timber, high ceilings, authentic, timeless design and generous windows. Large floorplates and long column-free spans maximize tenant flexibility. In order to ensure that no desk was left in the shadows, two central atriums bring ample natural daylight into every corner of the space. Several skybridges span across the dramatic three-story lobby, creating fluid connections throughout the building. In addition, a large vegetated roof deck overlooks the Willamette River toward downtown Portland, providing tenants with ready access to the outdoors.
Employee equality is a strong cultural value for Simple and they wanted to meet the needs of all employees, including their trans community, by incorporating gender neutral bathrooms. We worked with the City of Portland to gain an exception to existing regulations, allowing us to build individual stalls with shared sinks. In doing so, we not only helped Simple better serve their own community, but also to move the needle on an important social equality issue, with the potential to positively impact future development in the city.