A New Home for FPS
BEFORE: 297 sf of blank slate
PROCESS: concept + development
|Since 2007, Fat Pencil Studio was based in the Burnside Rocket Building as part of a dynamic open office co-op called TENpod. As a charter member, we got to meet and work near a lot of great people doing exciting, creative things. But as the FPS staff grew, our little corner of the third floor got a bit crowded. So we set out on an intrepid search to find a suitable new home for FPS. After months of hunting, we were able to secure a space in the Ford Building.
That’s when the excitement really began. Suite 344 was 297 sf of blank slate — its main assets being the bright and even daylight admitted through the large north-facing windows, and the 20′ ceilings. It was up to us to transform it into the working environment of our dreams (on a tight budget of course!).
We approached the problem in much the same way we approach most of our projects: by building a Sketchup model. Early brainstorming led us to a general concept of how to organize the functions of the space. We agreed that work surfaces should line the long east and west walls, a threshold of some sort should separate the work space from the utilitarian functions of kitchen and copying/printing, and a table for meetings should be located near the windows. We then took turns developing this concept with different furniture and material strategies. Eventually we settled on a plan involving a mix of pre-fab and custom furniture and materials including hacked IKEA pieces, salvaged wood and custom fabricated steel desk supports.
Then it was time to put the plan into action. Between building models, designing diagrams and making videos for clients, we made a lot of trips between the old office and the new one, and generated quite a lot of sawdust. We measured and sawed and re-measured and re-sawed and drilled and screwed and swept and painted and finished until reality approached the vision we had developed digitally.
Now we’re all settled in and loving the new space. Come check it out if you’re in the neighborhood next Wednesday, October 10, from 3-6pm. We’ll be having an open house as part of Portland Design Week. There will be refreshments and some demos of our work. Hope to see you then!