Best Offices 2017: Sizing Down

Welcome to Portland's Tiniest Office

Design networking firm Coroflot built its 280-foot headquarters in a trailer.

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

0617 offices coroflot uczubd

Coroflot's trailer could be adapted to other uses—say, a true “roadworthy” office, a pop-up retail store, or a mobile classroom.

The 280-square-foot tiny office—or “mobile work unit”—of Coroflot, a job-hunting and recruitment site for design professionals, hides inside Hand-Eye Supply’s Northwest Portland garage.

A collaboration for the husband-and-wife team of Coroflot cofounder Eric Ludlum and Laurence Sarrazin of design firm Los Osos, the office began life in 2012 when the couple plotted an escape from their downtown apartment into a tiny home. Sarrazin designed and built the post-and-beam frame on top of a trailer, but put the project on hold when they decided they missed city life. In early 2016, Ludlum consolidated Coroflot’s scattered workforce and needed a new Portland space. Sarrazin ripped the tarp off their unfinished tiny home project. Wheel wells became benches. Plans for insulated walls became semitransparent polycarbonate siding instead. Three Douglas fir trees from Ludlum’s parents’ old Tigard property (that new owners wanted cut down) became wood flooring and beams.

“It’s a bit sentimental, but we also didn’t want the trees to go to waste,” Ludlum says.

To fill the new space, Sarrazin created a custom furniture system: regularly spaced holes in the trailer’s wooden framing allowed her to arrange and configure desks, shelves, chairs, benches, and even flower pots. The simple floor plan coupled with the modular furniture means the MWU could be adapted to other uses—say, a true “roadworthy” office, a pop-up retail store, or a mobile classroom. 

“The investment is not tied to the building,” says Sarrazin. “This could be one version of its skin—the next version could be used for on the road.”

Show Comments