Alterman Law Group Workplace – Craft, Modern Tech and Adaptive Reuse
Client: Alterman Law Group PC
For its new fifteenth floor office, the Alterman Law Group wanted a space that reflected their innate love for the city and region with unique interior elements and thoughtful spatial layout with clarity of diagram and creative space planning. The new design embraces daylight and a sense of openness that highlights inspirational floor to ceiling views of downtown Portland and the hills beyond while spatially incorporating individual offices for writing and contemplation. The reuse, redesign, and reconfiguration of the former glass storefront with sliding doors as well as repurposed timber upheld client commitment to sustainability.
The concept for the redesigned glass storefront screen grew from the variety of light conditions and the public/private quality desired in the overall space. This screen was imagined as capable of dividing the space while conveying a sense of openness. It brings daylight into the reception area of the office, and the sliding glass doors provide varying levels of acoustic privacy while accentuating efficient circulation.
Inspired by the Columbia River Gorge and the Oregon Cascade Range, OFFICE 52 Architecture custom-designed a graphic representation of four distinct landscape elements applied as a translucent screen on the repurposed storefront glass. A floor to ceiling wall mural map-plan of Portland, Oregon looking East to the Cascade Mountains adorns one wall of the conference room.
With R&H Construction, the team attained sustainability goals for a project that was completed efficiently to accommodate client timetable and a modest budget. Interior features of the 2,000 square foot space include natural daylight throughout, hand-crafted walnut furniture, sustainable contract-grade handcrafted textile wallcoverings of natural materials, no VOC paint, PVC-free furniture, recyclable carpet with recycled content, high-efficiency LED lighting, and a warm color palette with a crimson red accent. We worked closely with the Alterman Law Group on spatial layout, colors and furnishing selections, and OFFICE 52 Architecture custom designed the conference table and reception desk, both uniquely crafted of reclaimed black walnut.
Each table can be a work of art, especially when part of its beauty is the result of reclaimed lumber from the Pacific Northwest. Our clients are distinguished by the many ways they embrace environmental responsibility to heighten awareness of our cities and urban forests, and this was a superb example. The walnut tree originates from an urban park near the Willamette River in the verdant Willamette Valley town of Eugene.
Due to significant ice storm damage, the tree was thoughtfully salvaged to be revitalized. Designed by our studio to accentuate the beauty of the wood’s grain, the reception desk and conference table feature custom forms with gracefully curved and tapered edges and legs, traditional butterfly joints, and an integrated power/data port – a weave of craft and modern technology. Hand-fabricated with a GREENGUARD® certified finish, the wood’s warm and inviting character complements the overall palette for the office.
When we take on a new project of any size, we work with clients to understand the core functionality of how they use their space to establish efficacious data for personal workspaces, meeting and communal spaces, client storage and tech needs. By doing this everyone gains insight to creatively align work and spatial models for current and future needs of a growing firm. It’s about the journey as much as it is about the completed destination.
This was important for a business that works differently from other law firms in the way it advises other businesses, their owners, and real estate investors. The design process embodied their own process of asking intelligent questions and devising creative solutions for their clients.
“We are very pleased with how the project turned out. My partner Erica and I appreciate the guidance and design sensibility that Isaac and Michelle brought to our project and their attention to the little details as well as the overall result.” -Dean Alterman
Photography by Michelle LaFoe and Isaac Campbell.
Prismacolor Pencil Drawing on Mylar, 18′ x 22″ Michelle LaFoe, 2021.
Materials Ensemble Collage, 9″ x 16″ Michelle LaFoe.
Portland, Oregon 1879 map-plan for wall mural courtesy of Ted’s Vintage Art.