Leatherman Headquarters Study
The LRS team created an exciting concept design study for a three-story office headquarters for Leatherman, the renowned manufacturer of multi-use tools, and a Portland icon. Located on a site across from their existing factory, the new building will reflect the company’s brand mission to create innovative products that prepare people for both the expected and unexpected. Additionally, it will not only make room for employee growth, but also help facilitate employee connection through a site design unifying both properties.
The client envisioned an authentically designed space where everything was intentional and created with purpose. In planning the concept, the design team worked to create an office building centered around the brand’s personality and character of their product. The honesty of the materials with regards to the integrity of natural materials, functionality, and cohesiveness were the fundamental design parameters.
The industrial, yet sophisticated, aesthetic of the building study highlights the client’s manufacturing process, as well as introduces an open, outdoor concept. The seamless collaboration between architectural and interior design helped move the project forward quickly through a compressed schedule.
The exterior is composed of custom fabricated steel “X” columns. The interplay of solid and void patterns accentuates the columns and maximizes views in a unifying rational composition. Raw materials such as cedar siding and fiber cement panels are integrated in the framework. Extensive glazing on the building’s recessed façade areas creates a transparent connection to the factory building across the street, as well as provides views of Mt. Hood to the east from upper level decks.
Cedar wood, aluminum frames and similar materials on the exterior are continued inside for a cohesive and balanced feel. Interior screens will be fabricated from the laser-cut metal die sheets remaining from the manufacturing process.
The raw steel structure, exposed concrete floors, and natural fiber cement panels all detailed with expressed connections help convey honesty in construction by exposing the materials and construction details. Plantings, upholsteries, and wood help to balance the industrial expression and complete the design story.
In the entry, a custom-designed casework piece resembles one of the client’s manufactured products, while serving as a seating and coffee station. Inspired by company pride in the engineering and machining process, a series of plaques on the wall relates real-life stories of how the company’s products have impacted their clients.