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May 4, 2018

Interior Residential • Oregon

Photo provided NWCB
Contractors overcame budget restraints to revise a wood ceiling inside this Portland apartment building.

Block 17

Location: Portland

Contractor: Anning-Johnson Co.

Architect: Bora Architects

Team: Armstrong World Industries, Cemco, GTS interior Supply, Hamilton Drywall Products, Insulpro Projects, L&W Supply, Simpson Strong-Tie Co., Spears Construction Supply, USG Building Systems

Block 17 is a new 16-story apartment building with nearly 200,000 square feet of apartment space and 13,000 square feet of community and retail space in Portland’s Pearl District.

Block 17 was one of two buildings being constructed on the same jobsite at the same time. In addition, it was bordered by new construction projects directly across the street to the west as well as to the north, providing a very congested construction area.

The top floor contained a community space with high-end wood ceilings divided by an operable exterior partition that created an open-air space for social events. The ceilings were designed to visually flow from the interior to the exterior.

The challenge was maintaining the visual continuity of the wood finish at the exterior to match the interior. The exterior wood needed to be weather-resistant and sealed to prohibit moisture absorption and resist insects. Samples showed a noticeable difference between the exterior and interior woods.

The budget did not allow for revising the interior to match the exterior. The solution took multiple sample stains, mock-ups, and drawing revisions. Ultimately the solution was to revise the interior ceiling into a grille pattern and use the same stain as the exterior plank ceiling. This allowed for the use of two different species of wood and two different ceiling configurations that still maintained the uniform color appearance the architect desired.

Judge’s comment: “A tremendous example of high-rise residential construction in Portland. The contractor provided a beautiful outcome anyone would appreciate.”

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