Best Offices 2017: The Dream Home

Inside Architecture Firm Ankrom Moisan's Plum New Digs

The local juggernaut escapes John's Landing for Old Town—the neighborhood's first new building in a decade.

By Marty Patail May 15, 2017 Published in the June 2017 issue of Portland Monthly

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Ankrom Moisan now occupies three stories of 38 Davis, with the rest given over to University of Oregon.

Ankrom Moisan is an engine of Portland’s growth. In the 34-year-old architecture and design firm’s ever-expanding portfolio: the massive, newly opened Goat Blocks development on SE Belmont, downtown’s Hotel Lucia and Eliot Tower, and new headquarters for Vestas and Daimler. And since the early 1990s, it’s worked these wonders from a relatively cramped, isolated headquarters in John’s Landing, that mainly residential sliver of land south of downtown, cut off from the rest of the city by I-5.

No longer. This winter, the architectural and interior design juggernaut moved its 250 Portland employees into an airy, six-story headquarters, steps from a MAX station and the cherry blossoms lining the west bank of the Willamette, the first new Old Town–Chinatown building in a decade. Ankrom Moisan now occupies three stories of 38 Davis, with the rest given over to University of Oregon classrooms, retail, and housing.

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Before moving to Old Town–Chinatown, Ankrom Moisan spent decades in John's Landing.

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Inside Ankrom-Moisan's new headquarters

In the lobby and kitchen area, a deskless “host” wanders the halls, welcoming you into the living room and all-staff conference room. Cozy nooks for impromptu meetings recur every few feet, and most walls can be used as wipeable whiteboards. “Honesty” reigns: exposed pipes, wires, and ducts are arranged neatly on the ceiling—forming a chaotic but satisfying visual jumble—flanked by glue-laminated timber beams, steel beams, and concrete floors. With gray water reclamation and an energy-efficient fan system circulating air, the building is the first in Portland to be eligible for the newest LEED v4 certification.

The geekiest part: The building also has a dedicated virtual reality room, where architects and clients can don headsets to explore every inch of their future buildings.

Ankrom Moisan

KEY AMENITIES Beer and kombucha on tap, on-site gym 
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Cozy nooks for impromptu meetings recur every few feet.

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