Located in the Mississippi Avenue neighborhood of Portland, the Mississippi Workshop, designed and developed by Waechter Architecture, is a 9,550-square-foot structure that stands out as a prime example of eco-friendly and considerate infill development.
The Workshop embodies a contemporary take on the traditional industrial loft style, providing a harmonious blend of personality, adaptability, and enduring design.
The Mississippi Workshop is a mixed-use, mass timber building located on a prominent commercial avenue in Portland, Oregon among structures of varied types, characters, and construction.
Mississippi is the first commercial project in Oregon to use mass timber construction for all components of the building’s structure.
Other than a “rain jacket” of weathering steel on the exterior and radiant concrete flooring, all surfaces within the building are exposed wood without the need for additional finishes or fireproofing.
This approach creates a simplicity and wholeness that is absent in standard CLT or traditional frame construction and creates spaces with uncommon warmth, beauty, and durability.
With the principles of economy, constructability, and agility serving as key drivers, the organization of Mississippi creates distinct zones for programs and services.
The building is comprised of six equal rooms, stacked in three tiers on each side of a shared courtyard.
These clear span volumes are proportioned to accommodate a range of uses and may be outfitted for autonomous use, or as an ensemble with other units.
Operable windows throughout the building allow for efficient cross-ventilation and generous daylight.
A compact service and circulation bar connects these two wings along the northern edge, housing bathrooms, stairs, and elevators; acting as a spring point for future kitchen and plumbing tie-ins for the main spaces.
At the heart of Mississippi, an open-air courtyard acts as a semi-private civic space offering a retreat from the busy street, and a venue for events, presentations, and informal gatherings.
Every decision, from the building’s simple and clear organization to the integration of healthy materials and efficient building systems such as all-electric, refrigerant-free, hydronic heating and cooling systems, embodies the principles of resilience and enduring design.
The ultimate goal of the project has been to create a replicable and adaptive model for a future-proof building that also possesses a strong sense of identity, grace, and permanence.
Project: Mississippi Workshop
Architects: Waechter Architecture
Principal Architect: Ben Waechter
Project Manager: Alexis Coir
Project Architect: Giovanni Sidari
Photographers: Lara Swimmer, Jeremy Bittermann, and David Papazian