Autodesk’s new Portland office deserved an identity as compelling as its location—the Towne Storage building, a renovated historic warehouse at the Burnside Bridgehead. Working closely with Autodesk and the brand strategists at Think Joule, Mackenzie’s design team interpreted the Autodesk brand through the lens of local context. The workplace is designed to attract and retain talent through carefully thought-out amenity space that fosters engagement, interaction, and an authentic collective identity.

Collaborative rooms and meeting spaces are inspired by the tiny house movement, using a palette of materials reflective of the Central Eastside neighborhood’s industrial history, and incorporating the work of local makers. Portland cultural motifs are woven throughout the workplace, paying homage to the city’s artisans, urban landmarks, geography, and history.

The diverse group of local artists and artisans on the project ranged from neighborhood makers working sustainably with salvaged material to a retired couple who crafted picnic tables for communal areas. Locally sourced material included Douglas Fir reclaimed from Centennial Mills, just across the Willamette River.

Inspired by Autodesk’s mission and tagline “Make Anything,” the design team followed a concept of “ideas into form,” illustrated at arrival to the building by the sculptural stair. The finished environment was achieved through Autodesk design and visualization tools, including ReCap, InfraWorks, Autodesk 3 dS Max, Revit, and Revit Live. The fusion of Autodesk’s innovation with the maker culture of Portland’s Central Eastside is the defining characteristic of the new workplace, and a great foundation for continued creativity.