ZGF Architects' next generation

| Print |  Email
Articles - July 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
0711_Tactics_02
0711_Tactics_03
Photos by Justin Tunis
Collectively, these projects target what Packard refers to as “360 degrees of sustainability” — how buildings perform within a neighborhood, how they perform in and of themselves, and how they perform for the user. “If you’re not doing that today, you’re not helping provide solutions that not only your clients, but your clients’ clients are struggling with,” says Packard.

About those fundamentals. Unlike most large firms, ZGF devotes only about 15% of its practice to work overseas, a portfolio that currently includes Beijing Children’s Hospital Leukemia Center and the Da Lian Xinghai Mixed Use Development. “It’s a deliverable strategy,” says Packard. “There was a time when it was not easy to do a level of quality somewhere else in the world that we could be proud of.”

Inside the United States, where the firm has a broad geographic reach, corporate client commissions are increasing as the economy recovers, Packard says. “I wouldn’t have expected this, but they are one of the first users of architecture that have said ‘Let’s get going.’” Still, he adds, the recession has been “dark and scary.” Gross revenues were about $125 million in 2010, down from about $149 million in 2008.  The firm also trimmed staff by 13% — on the low end for architecture firms, says Packard.

With his old-school demeanor, Packard can seem a bit out of place in ZGF’s hyper-cool new offices. Then again, the contrast is an apt symbol for the firm and its ability to evolve broad notions of design. In 1982, Packard co-authored a paper identifying the development potential of the West End district. Thirty years later, Twelve West has not only helped revitalize that neighborhood, now home to the Crystal Hotel and hundreds of new apartments, but it is also about 50% more energy efficient than a typical residential or office tower.

“The world has become very complex,” says Packard. “What for the firm may have started out as one aspect of sustainability is now made up of a multitude of issues.”

Portland journalist and architecture critic Brian Libby contributed to this report.



 

More Articles

The ancient fish that stops bullets

The Latest
Friday, May 08, 2015
hagfishthumbBY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.


Read more...

5 stats about Oregon fireworks

The Latest
Thursday, June 18, 2015
fireworksthumb001BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Fireworks are a booming industry, even if the pyrotechnics have turned July 4th into a day fire marshals, and many residents, love to hate.


Read more...

6 things to know about the Amtrak Cascades route

The Latest
Friday, May 22, 2015
thumb3BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The recent tragedy in Philadelphia has called attention to Amtrak and the nation's woefully underfunded rail service. Here are six facts about the Amtrak Cascades corridor between Eugene and Vancouver B.C. 


Read more...

Downtime with John Helmick

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play: CEO of Gorilla Capital.


Read more...

Photo Log: The 2015 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon

The Latest
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
greenthumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Oregon Business celebrated the 100 Best Green Workplaces with an awards luncheon yesterday at the Nines Hotel in downtown Portland.


Read more...

Oregon businesses face destruction from future earthquake

The Latest
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
htctthumb1BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An earthquake would completely destroy many Oregon businesses, highlighting the urgent need for the private and public sectors to collaborate on shoring up disaster preparedness, said panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast summit today.


Read more...

100 Best Green Workplaces announced

News
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
OBM-100-best-Green-logo-2015-1000pxwBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

More than 250 people turned out today for Oregon Business magazine’s seventh annual celebration of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work For in Oregon.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS