One North: A New Standard for Building

One North: A New Standard for Building

The recently completed East and West Buildings at One North raise the bar for the design and sustainability of office space in Portland, and the eye-catching apertures contribute to both attributes. They are a testament to the fantastic teamwork and collaboration that were the hallmarks of the entire project.


Curvilinear forms are frequently constructed with a concrete structure due to concrete’s strength and the ease in which it can be shaped into any form. Given the goals of reducing the project’s construction carbon footprint and its operational energy consumption, concrete was not really an option. Another typical solution might have been a heavy steel frame, but the cost and difficulty of constructing something like that five stories up was daunting.


Holst worked hand-in-hand with R&H Construction and Radius Track to develop an alternate method that consisted of a light steel framework attached to the building’s wood primary structure with just a handful of steel plates. The innovative solution not only reduced the heat transfer through the aperture structure by 92%, but it also reduced the construction cost and duration.

Construction | June 2015

Collaboration on the complex structural and waterproofing issues was only possible with frequent communication, lots of sketches, and 3D computer modelling. The engineering and fabrication of the steel framework was completed in Minnesota, so it was critical to the success of the project that Holst was able to coordinate the structural, waterproofing, and aesthetic details of the apertures in advance and get buy-in from all team members.


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