What A Year

What A Year

What A Year

2020 was certainly a year like no other. Like many others, we had to quickly transition to working from home and find new ways to connect while physically distant. Through these uncertain and rapidly changing times, we saw the Portland community come together with overwhelming support for one another. At Holst, we continue to believe that design can be a powerful tool for social good, and this year required especially creative thinking in adapting our existing outreach and finding new ways to support our community.

Printing PPE

Shortly after the beginning of lockdown, as the number of Covid-19 cases rose nationally, we saw that design firms across the world were utilizing their 3D printers and other office supplies to manufacture face shields for first responders. Joining a coalition of other Portland architecture firms, we used an open-source printing file from Design That Matters and acetate sheets donated by Precision Images to assemble face shields for our local Legacy Health clinic.

Virtual Engagements

To support De Paul Treatment Centers in their virtual groundbreaking ceremony, we created a video flythrough of their new headquarters in Portland’s Gateway District. We were excited to help them showcase the new facility, which will enable them to expand their services.

Affordable Housing Opportunities

Holst is currently working pro bono with local developers, churches, and community-based organizations to design affordable family housing options at multiple sites in Cully, St. Johns, and Southwest Portland. Rezoning efforts and City Council actions through the Residential Infill Project, Better Housing by Design, and Expanding Opportunities for Affordable Housing have made it possible for these organizations to develop affordable housing for families on their properties, which we have bundled into one project in order to achieve an economy of scale. Our design team has been carefully balancing density with specific neighborhood needs so that the projects can each benefit from one another while fitting seamlessly into their distinct contexts.

Reaching Out

One benefit of this year’s virtual working environment is that it has enabled us to more easily connect with others. While this year hampered many of our normal in-person volunteering efforts, we were able to digitally engage with a number of organizations. We participated in two of Hillsboro’s School to Career presentations, outlining the architectural career to interested high school students. In February, our office partnered with the University of Oregon’s College of Design to host a student shadow who was able to tour a project site and sit in on design team meetings. This summer, we hired an intern through the Emerging Leaders Internship Program, which partners students of color with paid internships throughout the Portland metro area. We also continued our participation in the Architects in Schools program, working with elementary school students at Faubion School.

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