Sponsored by Lane Powell

ZGF Architects' next generation

| Print |  Email
Articles - July 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
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

Reader Input: School Choice

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015

Which of the following would be most effective in reducing the cost of operating a public university in Oregon?


Child care challenge

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
0927OHSUhealthystarts-thumbBY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER

Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.


The 5 most/least expensive rental neighborhoods in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, September 24, 2015
092515neighborhoodthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Oregon's population is booming, and so are rental costs.


Have a baby and keep a job? It won’t be easy in Portland

The Latest
Friday, October 02, 2015
100115kimblogthumbBY KIM MOORE

Our intrepid (and expecting) research editor finds the child care search involves long waiting lists, costly fees and no certainty of securing a place before she goes back to work.


100 Best Nonprofits announced

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

1015-nonprofits01Oregon Business magazine has named the seventh annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon. The rankings were revealed Wednesday night during an awards dinner at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland.


Fare Thee Well, Company Town

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

Corporate headquarters are no longer a marker of economic prowess.


The List: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon

October 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Oregon Business magazine’s seventh annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For project attracted more than 150 nonprofits from around the state from a variety of sectors, including social services and environmental advocacy.  More than 5,000 employees and volunteers filled out the survey, rating their satisfaction with work environment, mission and goals, career development and learning, benefits and compensation, and management and communications.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02