Ziba
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Holst Architecture’s design for Ziba Design’s new headquarters at NW Ninth Avenue and Marshall Street offers a powerful counterpoint to the well-built but largely humdrum architectural environs of the Pearl District. This building houses one of Portland’s most successful and internationally connected design firms, creators of everything from ergonomic keyboards for Microsoft to whole new ways of doing business for UPS. The building had to be a statement.

Ziba
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With a billboard-scaled picture window offering Ziba views of the city and the city views of Ziba, the building is both simple and theatrical. The scale and materials and the way it rises up and over the street is distinct from any building in the district—indeed, any building in Portland.

Ziba
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Beginning in August, Ziba’s designers, engineers, anthropologists, and branding experts will develop their products and campaigns around huge worktables in studios arrayed along a kind of "main street"—all bathed in northern light.

Ziba
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The new headquarters will feature an events space where Ziba plans to host events such as neighborhood meetings and lectures for the design community.

Pizzicato
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Holst’s 17-year history as a firm began with a range of retail work, the most prominent of which was the design of the original Pizzicato on NW 23rd Avenue, completed in 1993. Most Portland restaurants of the time featured either lots of wood and ferns or clashing ‘80s colors. As Nike and Wieden & Kennedy began to put Portland on the map as a center of design, Holst offered a new look for the city’s changing tastes.

PNCA
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Holst got a big break in 1997 when the firm won a competition to design the first independent home of the Pacific Northwest College of Art. With breakneck speed and little money, Holst retrofitted an old Pearl District warehouse with studios, classrooms, and offices surrounding a "commons" in a scheme that abstractly echoed the piazzas of Italian hill towns.

Ecotrust
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The Ecotrust headquarters stands amid beautifully restored Pearl District warehouses. But Holst’s 2001 remodel of the interior steered this structure toward its current claim to fame as the first LEED Gold certified historic renovation in the country.

Ecotrust
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Holst’s use of reclaimed materials achieved a simple, airy beauty while meeting the project’s environmental goals.

Ecotrust
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Ecotrust’s penthouse roof deck, complete with fireplace, is one of the most popular reception areas in the city.

River Tec
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The PNCA and Ecotrust commissions earned Holst more chances to prove that it could deliver greatness both quickly and cheaply. In 2001, for a flexible creative space called RiverTec (one of the earliest Pearl District office developments), Holst channeled the ranginess and elegance of early and late-career Frank Gehry into a dynamic yet inexpensively conceived remodel of an old warehouse.

Belmont Lofts
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In 2004, Holst got its first chance to design a new, large-scale building: the Belmont Lofts. Though many neighborhoods objected to such developments, Holst’s sumptuous use of wood and glass showed that "large-scale" and "good fit" do not have to be mutually exclusive.

Belmont Lofts
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Clad in a rain screen made of thin slats of ipe, a sustainably produced tropical hardwood, the building shimmers ethereally from a distance, but has the warmth of a well-made cabinet when seen up close.

Hotel Modera
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To create the Hotel Modera, Holst transformed an old Days Inn (and well-known rendezvous for Oregonian staffers who were having affairs) into one of the city’s next-generation boutique hotels.

937 Condos
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In a powerful counterpoint to the Pearl District’s collection of six-story red-brick courtyard condos and chunky high-rises clad in faux limestone, Holst recently completed the 937 Condominiums.

937 Condos
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The building’s beige brick recalls those early-century architects who sensibly chose white terra-cotta to give the city more brightness in the rain. The randomized window pattern sets the building off from its neighbors. But the shape—tall, narrow, and long—gives it powerful prominence in the skyline.

Panic
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For Panic, a local software design company, Holst deftly deployed simple screens made of laser-cut European plywood.

RAC Gate
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Holst is just finishing designs for its largest project yet, the $28 million Resource Access Center planned for downtown’s Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood. The firm’s well-honed knowledge of how to provide great design on a tight budget will benefit the city’s most disadvantaged residents.

Portrait
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Jeff Stuhr and John Holmes merged their names to create the moniker "Holst." Their well-seasoned ensemble of designers and project managers, now 18 people strong, includes Kevin Valk, Kim Wilson, Alan Jones, Dave Otte, Chris Hodney, and Jay Winfrey. "Our success is in [the fact] that we don’t stop designing—ever," says Holmes. "Even in the construction drawings and on-site, we just keep going back and refining. That’s where you get really good."

Ziba
Ziba
Ziba
Ziba
Pizzicato
PNCA
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Ecotrust
Ecotrust
Ecotrust
River Tec
Belmont Lofts
Belmont Lofts
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Hotel Modera
937 Condos
937 Condos
Panic
RAC Gate
Portrait
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