One North

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As the first major commercial building in North Portland’s Williams District, One North represents a balanced focus on innovative design, community involvement and sustainability. The project demanded a collaborative approach to define intent and context within the rapidly redeveloping neighborhood.

One North was an opportunity to break the mold for standard office spaces. It challenged us to redefine sustainability beyond industry requirements. We designed long-term, durable solutions that adapt to the environment and future needs, achieving approximately 50 percent more energy efficiency than code requires.


Influenced by the modernist Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, curved apertures pull out from the building to create a sense of movement and energy.

One North


14,000 square feet of landscaped public courtyard is open to the neighborhood for events and gatherings.

Using a mostly timber wood frame helped us achieve our rigorous sustainability goals and set a new standard for offices. Uniquely accentuated window frames jut out from the buildings to provide exterior shading and reduce the need for cooling.

Material selection was critical, and we emphasized low-carbon footprint techniques, such as wood cladding, cellulose insulation and mineral wool insulation. We also locally sourced sustainably harvested cedar siding to make the solution easily replicable for ongoing sustainable office development.

The project demanded intense collaboration and trust across multiple developers and neighborhood groups. The goal was to progress the area’s social equity, and we helped achieve it by building smaller in favor of public courtyard space. The open, landscaped courtyard now invites interaction and gives back to the community. We also helped secure unused parking from an adjacent church, which now provides them income and ongoing inclusivity in the neighborhood.

Teamwork made this project one of our most successful. Working across varying needs of multiple stakeholders, our design goes beyond influencing the tenant’s business and processes to support a grander neighborhood vision. The result is a innovative commercial space that elevates the bar for future area development.

Solar Array

Photovoltaic arrays atop each building produce approximately 71 kilowatt hours of on-site electrical production.


Pounds of carbon stored in 39,000 cubic feet of wood.


Cars' worth of emissions saved annually from use of sustainable wood materials.


Energy used through high-performance building principles compared to traditional construction.

The biggest thing both these projects have done is say, 'We're not going to max out the property. We're going to give something back.'

Kevin Valk, Principal / Owner


Karuna Properties II LLC


Portland, OR


East Building: June 2015
West Building: November 2015


East Building: 42,940 sq. ft.
West Building: 42,600 sq. ft.


2017 Woodworks Wood Design Award, Regional Excellence

2016 AIA Portland Mayor’s Award, Neighborhood Scale Project

2016 AIA Portland Citation Award

2016 Sustainable Project of the Year, Portland Business Journal Commercial Real Estate Awards

2016 Daily Journal of Commerce TopProjects, Finalist in Private Buildings Category

2016 ENR Northwest Best Project, Office/Retail/MixedUse Category

2015 Sustainable Development of the Year, A Night of Excellence in Commercial Real Estate Awards (CAB/NAIOP/SIOR)

2014 World Architecture News WAN, Shortlisted in Mixed-Use Category