Projects

adidas GOLD

The newly expanded campus for adidas's North American Headquarters in Portland, Oregon, is a work environment that celebrates sport as a model for living. Two buildings—a 182,000 sq. ft. office structure (GOLD Building) and a 31,000 sq. ft. boutique fitness center (Performance Zone)—look out onto a soccer pitch from spaces designed to echo the values the field represents: teamwork, integrity, agility, playfulness, and a stripped-down aesthetic that makes a virtue of simplicity. And both buildings are as fit as the athletes they serve. As a LEED Gold-certified project, the larger structure makes use of innovative materials and construction techniques that suggest new paths to sustainability and energy-efficient design. LEVER Architecture's structural weaving of precast concrete, glulam beams, and cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels results in an utterly modern workplace with the spaciousness and warmth of a lodge in the Northwest woods. Though rooted in the culture of its Portland locale, this new adidas campus feels universal in what it can teach us about design—and in what it suggests about the future of work.

The newly expanded campus for adidas's North American Headquarters in Portland, Oregon, is a work environment that celebrates sport as a model for living. Two buildings—a 182,000 sq. ft. office structure (GOLD Building) and a 31,000 sq. ft. boutique fitness center (Performance Zone)—look out onto a soccer pitch from spaces designed to echo the values the field represents: teamwork, integrity, agility, playfulness, and a stripped-down aesthetic that makes a virtue of simplicity. And both buildings are as fit as the athletes they serve. As a LEED Gold-certified project, the larger structure makes use of innovative materials and construction techniques that suggest new paths to sustainability and energy-efficient design. LEVER Architecture's structural weaving of precast concrete, glulam beams, and cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels results in an utterly modern workplace with the spaciousness and warmth of a lodge in the Northwest woods. Though rooted in the culture of its Portland locale, this new adidas campus feels universal in what it can teach us about design—and in what it suggests about the future of work.

  • City Portland, OR

  • Year 2021

  • Size 181,875 sq ft

  • Team Primo Orpilla, Lisa Bieringer, Mindi Weichman, Elizabeth Vereker, Chase Lunt, Lauren Perich, Sean Houghton, Alex Pokas, Lauren Harrison, Marbel Padilla, Kaylen Parker, Chelsea Hedrick, Sarah Hotchin

  • Awards 2022 ARCHITECT Architecture & Interiors Awards – Honor Award, Interiors: Large Office; 2022 WoodWorks Wood Design Award – Jury's Choice; 2022 Wood Design & Building Awards – Merit Award

  • Photographer Garrett Rowland (Interior), Jeremy Bitterman (Exterior)


Entering the Zone

The main reception area echoes the look and feel of coming into a stadium. Entering through a blackened steel vestibule, visitors and staff are met with the kinetics of a video screen and a view to the pitch behind a concierge station. A living wall previews the biophilic design that is a big part of the adidas workplace. The concrete and timber bones of the structure complete the impression of a space built for sport.

And for those who arrive by car, the parking garage elevator lobby offers a sporting impression all its own: metal mesh paneling in adidas Originals blue meant to evoke a stadium tunnel entry.


Eat In the Suites

The north dining hall is modeled after suite-level amenities in a sports arena. Natural light pours into a spacious communal area with college athletic team banners as window dressing. You don’t need a ticket, but the seats are designed as if you do. The chairbacks mimic stadium seat numbering while, in the hallway, the booths are like box seats a season ticket holder might own. Wall art here was a collaboration between adidas and O+A’s graphic design teams.

With a nod to stadium concourse design, the Food Hall vendors sport extended mesh and oriented strand board (OSB) awnings, open kitchens, and an avenue of twinkling string lights.


Office as Workshop

At adidas, “open office” means open to multiple uses. A mix of workstations, wheeled “creator tables,” pin-up walls, whiteboards, and video connections makes these areas adaptable to any stage of product development—from concept visioning to prototyping to heads-down number crunching. Integrated product storage and display keep it real.


A Lab for Winning

In design, as in sport, competition is the engine that drives creative energy. The creative spaces here are as lean as practice fields—and as versatile. This one can be wide open or subdivided into zones with heavy theater curtains and mobile furniture.

What works for a shoe, works for a space. In some small meeting rooms, the custom knitting technology adidas uses to manufacture shoe uppers get a new assignment: making acoustic wall panels that double as environmental graphics.


The Soul’s in the Sole

No space is deemed too humble to assert its brand value. What lowlier architectural canvas could there be than the underside of stairs? LEVER’s CLT staircase pairs the warmth of the wood with bright O+A graphics derived from the patterns of adidas’s iconic soles—an example of how the minutiae of design can be amplified to dramatic environmental effect.

The view may be Hitchcockian, but the structure is all business: stair treads made of pre-cast concrete, stair rails with integrated lighting, wayfinding drawn from stadium-style graphics.


Calling the Plays as Needed

Continuing the stadium theme, a conference room is fitted out with retractable bleachers that can be configured in different ways or folded up entirely to make more room. Agility is a quality adidas values in sport and design.


Levels of the Game

A spacious footprint allows for the layering of function and aesthetics that gives a space complexity and makes it stimulating. Here in one view: a pantry and bar, a lounge area overlooking the pitch, bleacher seats for team huddles, a comfy conference room for longer meetings, and through it all, a subtle but ever-present spirit of sport.


Design From the Inside Out

A core principle of adidas’s design ethos is demonstrated in the lantern-like glow of CLT and glulam beams through the glass of LEVER’s luminous shell. The plaza becomes a gathering spot for employees and the local community alike and provides opportunities to extend the workplace into outdoor spaces.