12th and Morrison

Portland, Oregon

Built on a quarter-block site in Southwest Portland, the 12th and Morrison building is a contemporary addition to a transitioning neighborhood. It was the first ground-up construction project for the client, who until then had repositioned buildings. The team wanted to create an office space that made a statement, attracted tenants, and inspired a sense of possibility in the neighborhood.


Built speculatively, strategic efficiency was important for this new project. The LRS project team researched several construction techniques, ultimately selecting site-cast post-tension concrete over steel construction. This allowed for larger, taller ceilings, which would become an attractive feature for potential tenants.


The design concept for the 12th and Morrison building was inspired by the context of the neighborhood. Located beside green space, a MAX stop, and an historic church, the 12th and Morrison building didn’t have to conform to a particular neighborhood aesthetic so instead, the design team thought about what the building could come to represent. Inspired by progressive design from around the globe, the team developed the 12th and Morrison building looking toward the future.

The most notable features of this building are its shape and the artful utilization of glass. Designers studied several different glass buildings, ultimately deciding that fritted glass, rather than white glass, would work best. While white glass looks modern from the outside, it obstructs views from the inside of the building. Designers wanted to make sure tenants had access to an unparalleled West Hills view, so fritted glass was the best solution. Additionally, fritted glass reduces glare, minimizes cooling costs, and provides a distinct look that still met the design objectives. When paired with the curtain wall and custom lighting, the fritted glass creates a striking visual.

The shape of the building is also unique. The glass and metal are angled outward, extending beyond the sidewalk at the southwestern corner. These lines complement the building’s modern materials and, combined with the transparency of the glass, express an openness to the neighborhood.

Excellence in Concrete 2019 Office Building Winner

Portland Business Journal 2018 Transformer Award Winner