The Gragg Apartments

Portland, Oregon

The Gragg building is a three-unit apartment building set on a 2500 square foot former parking lot in an evolving Portland neighborhood. The design solution has two story loft units flanking a stair that ascends to the owner’s third floor penthouse. The loft units are flexible live/work spaces. The penthouse is entered from a covered balcony on the north at the top of the stairs. The covered terrace on the south provides year round outdoor living space.

The building respects its context of concrete industrial buildings and wood houses. Its simple form is rendered in painted concrete block and alternating panels of reclaimed wood and aluminum framed windows. The overall composition emphasizes symmetry and proportion while the fenestration continues the rhythm and pattern of the neighboring buildings. The intention is to achieve an architectural vocabulary suited to a maturing urban environment.

The building’s energy conservation measures include concrete block walls and concrete slab floors providing thermal mass, increased insulation, extensive use of reclaimed wood, a green roof with solar array, and windows positioned to provide ample daylight and passive natural ventilation. Structural separation between units virtually eliminates sound transmission. Storage is provided for bicycles rather than autos.