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  7. NORTH / Skylab Architecture

NORTH / Skylab Architecture

  • 01:00 - 28 January, 2009
NORTH / Skylab Architecture
NORTH / Skylab Architecture

NORTH / Skylab Architecture NORTH / Skylab Architecture NORTH / Skylab Architecture NORTH / Skylab Architecture +8

From the architect. NORTH is not an advertising agency. They are a team of designers, writers, creative directors, film, and music makers joined by an expeditionary force landing them in the Pacific Northwest. They asked Skylab Architecture to help them to create a space that was not an office.

Based on the idea of a polar research expedition to the frontier, a 10,000 square foot basecamp was designed. The design responds to alternative social interactions-cooking, eating, lounging, and gaming-that inspire creative work. Workstations are replaced with modular structures, furniture and equipment defined around activity. Collaboration is based on portability and a cluster-on-demand breakaway from the traditional static office.

The basecamp tent, a white existing building shell, is left untouched. Interior walls and structures come to the edge, but are not fixed to the shell. A single connection point provides fiber cable and utility function. The building, a former home to a printing business, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pine paneling, raw steel and a carpet tile mural on the floor are the predominant interior features. Like an expedition that collects equipment that can handle the unknown challenge, the eclectic materiality of the movable office is selected for the ability to tackle different solutions to the design problem.

A cantilevered think module is vertically stacked in the center of the space. It reveals a newly articulated view of the West Hills through clerestory windows in the building. Similar to the NORTH creative process that reveals something about a client's brand that may have always been there but not yet communicated, this view required elevation but was always there. Floral drapery and camouflage Fatboy beanbags allow for reflecting ‘around a campfire'.

A series of interspersed glass and metal panels define the edit module, two soundproof rooms without doors. Smoke plush carpeting and mirror-like edit stations make editing a destination without wasting carbon. It's dually private and transparent.

Taking a universal icon for quick creative thought and communication, the media module is Post-it Note yellow. A commercial grade kitchen and adjacent dining area with picnic tables, wall mural, and topographic carpet tiles redefines out-of-doors inside. A visitor module of smoke walls and ice-white lighting is curated with print, sound, and new media inspirations, fostering an ever-changing creative forum and connection with the local community.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "NORTH / Skylab Architecture" 28 Jan 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
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alejandro · February 17, 2010

those working stations right next to the windows seem unconfortable, the plan is northless

K. Smith · June 05, 2009

I've done a lot of searching on google for this type of content. Glad I finally found this site! Great work.

Valton · May 28, 2009

fresh idea!

aankun · January 30, 2009

ooo... its a very nice space to work. i love the black table because it looks good with the iMac :D

dennis · January 29, 2009

holy crap! A local firm and project to my city, always a fun thing to see in here. Skylab is an amazing firm, Portland is lucky to have a collection of small firms and architects that are really pushing some timeless architecture.

Oh and a bit of info, the Seattle City Hall would be a good one to add if you have any information. A class group project that I am on has been doing some investigating on that, there is some great LEED projects going on throughout the northwest that shouldnt be overlooked.

Maria Lorena Lehman · January 29, 2009

The coordinated use of texture and pattern is very nice. What a cantilevered space! I would love to have some brainstorming sessions in there...Nice lighting as well.


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