Owen Gabbert LLC was initially engaged by Schoolhouse Electric to manage a complicated electrical service upgrade that required careful coordination with building occupants and the adjacent railroad. Subsequently, we were asked to evaluate and execute the factory expansion into the previously storage-focused fourth floor. Working in a full service capacity as both construction manager and design-build general contractor, Owen Gabbert LLC helped realize the company and building owner’s vision for the new spaces, while concurrently directing a highly involved permit process and factory equipment install. Careful curation of the existing building’s historic aesthetic was balanced against the need for improved functionality in the form of new lighting, sound wall partitions and poplar clad breakout rooms that accentuate the exposed timber and masonry structure.
One North is an approximately 100,000-square-foot urban infill office and retail development in north Portland. The project is the result of a collaboration between two development teams across three uniquely designed buildings and a 14,000-square-foot public courtyard.
The East and West Buildings, developed collaboratively by Owen Gabbert LLC and Nels Gabbert, LLC comprise roughly 70,000 square feet of office space. As the first primarily heavy timber buildings built in Portland in the last 50 years, these spaces represent a shift in the development and construction world, showcasing the potential of wood as both a structural and finish material. The remaining 36,000 square feet of space is in the Radiator Building; this area was designed and developed by Kaiser Group.
Portland-based digital creative agency, Instrument, now occupies three floors of the East Building, which includes a centrally-situated auditorium that simultaneously allows employees to see one another while offering a central stairway and gathering place via the bleachers. This office space, lined with wood and plentiful windows, is both modern and classic in form and function.
The shared 14,000-square-foot courtyard brings each of the buildings of One North together, and invites community members in as they walk by. In addition to the high performance mechanical systems and advanced envelopes implemented in each building, both have highly unique elements. From an early earthquake-warning system in Radiator, to the undulating curves of the East and West Buildings, One North is genuinely one-of-a-kind.
This project was completed in winter of 2015. Please visit the One North Website for additional project information.
Development Team: Karuna Properties II, LLC; Nels Gabbert, LLC; Kaiser Group Inc.; Owen Gabbert LLC
Designer: Holst Architecture
Mechanical Engineer: McKinstry
Structural Engineer: Froelich Consulting Engineers
Contractor: R&H Construction
Finance Partner: Bank of the Cascades
Owen Gabbert LLC conceived of the third unit in the backyard of the Mississippi Duplex as a way to maximize underutilized space, add density without demolition, and engage the alley. In addition to arranging the financing, we led and managed a complex permitting process, before completing construction as the general contractor. Throughout the project we implemented green strategies and features into a design that blends architectural history with modern technology.
We see this unit as a case study for projects that front the alleys running through multiple Portland neighborhoods. Rather than turning away, we foresee projects such as these as a way to explore alternative forms of infill and density, inspired by Laneway Houses in Vancouver.
Development Team: Owen Gabbert LLC
Designer: Kai Yonezawa
Contractor: Owen Gabbert, LLC
Engineer: Madden & Baughman
Finance Partner: Albina Community Bank
Photographers & Stylists: Kate Richard & Jenny Trygg
The Lincoln remodel exemplifies how modern design can complement craftsman elements when done thoughtfully. Working with the architects at Beebe-Skidmore, we aimed to do just that. By incorporating contemporary style into this original 1907 craftsman home, we updated the feel of the home without significantly changing the structure itself.
The existing home is quite large, spanning nearly 5,000 square feet over four floors. Therefore, instead of remodeling the outside from top to bottom, we targeted specific areas focusing on opening up the west-facing façade in order to bring in more natural light. By replacing that entire side with modern glass windows and large sliding doors, the house was transformed from dark and traditional to airy and contemporary. This unique element also became the basis for the new upstairs dormer, which now houses a functional workspace for the homeowners. The dramatic change is a statement of style, both inside and out.
The finished product us a unique home that boasts elements of modern style and old-school charm. And while the square footage remains nearly the same, the functionality and quality of the spaces is greatly improved – resulting in a house that is a beautiful new rendition of the original design.
Without a well-defined living or dining room, the primary objective of the Stephens remodel was to develop more intentional space and to increase useable square footage. To that end, Owen Gabbert LLC created a functional living room, moved the kitchen to the back of the house, and built a formal dining area that the family can use for weeknight dinners and dinner parties alike. In addition, a detached office space was added to the back of the home to offer a secure, private area for work.
The homeowners also wanted to incorporate their love of modern design into the existing aesthetic appeal of their 1914 Craftsman-style bungalow. Owen Gabbert LLC helped accomplish this by incorporating open spaces and clean lines into the home’s existing structure. Large windows provide clean lines and bring in a natural light and contemporary brightness that would not otherwise exist in a traditional bungalow. By marrying the modern with the vintage, the Stephens home today looks like a new, 21st century version of its original self.
The Rio Vista home was originally built in 1962. In 2017 Owen Gabbert, LLC completed a full remodel of the house – from top to bottom, inside and out.
Beginning upstairs, we removed the walls and fireplace between the kitchen and the living room in order to allow for an openness and even flow from one room to the next. The remodeled kitchen features the same exposed beams as the living space, along with sleek Myrtlewood cabinets and a patterned black and white back splash. Through these structural changes, we exposed continuous wood beams to accent the living and dining space – and to tie together custom woodworking that frames newly redone windows. Facing north, these windows feature an unobstructed view of Portland’s historic Industrial District.
We continued the custom woodworking down to the basement with a custom floating stairway that leads to newly refinished concrete floors, suited perfectly for the family dog. Consistent with the upstairs, interior walls were eliminated to brighten the space, necessitating complicated, exposed, angular framing with minimalist knife plates. As part of that work, the basement was reoriented to allow maximum space for the owners’ two daughters.
Owen Gabbert LLC continued the woodworking to the exterior of the home, which accents bright hues and clean lines. The finished product is a home that retains its mid-century modern appeal with all of the updates of a brand-new house.
When NKT Photonics, a high-performance fiber laser supplier, relocated from Lake Oswego to North Portland, Owen Gabbert LLC was hired to build out their new multiuse space, which includes a functional office and a small area for research, design, and manufacturing. This brand-new office also has all new flooring and lighting, both of which complement the bright natural light, wooden beams, and industrial touches that the building itself offers.
Working with architect Michael Flowers and designer ‘ctrl+shift+space’, we built out an office space with a shared workspace containing several desks that’s conducive to an integrated work environment, as well as a conference room for meetings and phone conferences, and several closed offices. In addition, a small kitchenette with a dining table suited for six offers a quiet place to sit down with a cup of hot coffee or takeout with the team. Last but not least, Owen Gabbert LLC built out a clean room for NKT to use when creating specialized prototypes – making this new location a great blend of digital and literal product creation.
The Old Germantown Remodel primarily consisted of finish work and modernization of a large, custom 1980s-style house located up among the trees in Portland’s West Hills. The homeowner came to us with an idea of what he wanted to do, and with an architect who we had previously worked with. He also had a deadline – the birth of his family’s second child – that we needed to work within. We enthusiastically stepped up to the challenge.
Owen Gabbert LLC elevated the finishes throughout the home to a new level, replacing an older, more organic style with a cleaner and modern aesthetic. To change the feel, we replaced tiled flooring with modern black slate and installed some of the highest quality cabinetry on the market from Henrybuilt in the kitchen and bathrooms. Owen Gabbert LLC also added a large custom door that leads the homeowners from the kitchen out to the pool deck. By incorporating unique design elements such as Heath tile, high-end finishes, and custom cabinetry, Owen Gabbert LLC was able to bring the family’s vision to life just in time for the family’s new arrival.
Justa Pasta came to Owen Gabbert LLC asking for a full refresh and revamp of their restaurant, but it came with a tight timeline: the entire remodel needed to be complete within a quick three-week shutdown. We accepted the challenge, and we’re happy we did because the final result is a beautiful restaurant that’s as fresh as the handmade pastas being served up on the daily.
To start, we engaged Casework, a Portland-based full-service interior architecture and design firm who we felt would help bring the right tone and aesthetic to the project. Working collaboratively, we wiped the slate clean, taking nearly all furniture away, getting rid of all remaining light fixtures from the original buildout 20 years ago, and removing all built-in casework. Left with just the sheetrock and structure of the building, we first refinished the floor, retiled kitchens and eating areas, added new furniture and casework throughout, and repainted the walls.
One of the biggest elements of this project was ensuring that the remodel of Justa Pasta improved the overall flow of the experience for both the restaurant staff and the customers who would eventually dine in the new space. Working with Casework, we blended form and function in both the build and the design elements of the final interior. We think Casework said it beautifully in their recent blog post about the collaboration: “At Casework, our goal for design is to not only be beautiful but also intuitive. We want to inform the customer without overwhelming them with signage so they can make the realization on their own.
One way we achieved this was to open up the area completely. We pushed the once centrally located wine shelf to the wall. It's a beautiful backdrop and one of the first things you see when you walk in the restaurant! The large island helps to create a natural separation. This separation pushes people into a line for ordering and still leaves room for staff to easily deliver plates of food without a million "excuse me's" at a busy lunch service or roped off sections.”
We believe that working with the right partners can help a good project turn into one that’s outstanding, and we’re certain that in this case, working with Casework helped Justa Pasta to reinvent itself in a way that is new and fresh, but still familiar to longstanding customers.
Treehouse–an online platform that teaches web, mobile and business development courses–signed on as the anchor tenant in the Karuna West building during the initial shell construction. To facilitate a mutually beneficial process, Owen Gabbert LLC managed the design, permitting and construction of the tenant improvement work on behalf of both the building owner and the tenant.
As an online education company, the Treehouse project required some unique construction elements. Specifically, the Treehouse program needed studios to record its educational videos in. To accommodate this need, a section of roof was redesigned during construction to allow for additional height on the fifth floor, and special considerations were made to ensure a soundproof environment.
A large open café area on the fourth floor of the building provides a central gathering area for employees and visitors. The rest of the space is primarily designed as open office, with strategically placed conference and breakout rooms, which maximize the natural light and accentuate the appearance of the heavy timber building design.
Opened in September, 2016, Dame is a restaurant and wine bar located in the Northeast Killingsworth area of Portland; Owen Gabbert LLC assisted in reinventing and remodeling it from the inside out.
The building itself had been home to many restaurants before Dame, so Owen Gabbert LLC worked to fully transform the space, working closely with the designer and owners. We rebuilt the bar from the ground up, and moved it from its original location in order to offer more space for both the customers at the bar and the bartenders behind it. Owen Gabbert LLC installed custom oak shelves, as well as custom paneling, around the bar to give it a classic but updated look.
Not content to focus strictly on the front of house, we redid both bathrooms, and fully reinvented the private dining room with paneling and dark hardwood floors to offer an inviting, but intimate area for small groups. Finally, we added new wallpaper, a banquet, antique mirrors in the main room and all new mid-century modern lighting throughout.
Operating under a design-build contract, Owen Gabbert LLC partnered with Michael Flowers to transform a vacant office space into the Steelcase Portland Innovation Center. In addition to completely rethinking the lighting, finishes and kitchen, we managed an extensive furniture install process, as the office became home to a variety of Steelcase components. LED lighting, designer carpet tiles, and a custom bike rack glazing system now accentuate the character of the existing masonry building.
Rudy’s barbershop opened its doors in 1993, expanding on the longstanding tradition of a neighborhood barbershop by creating an environment of carefully curated art, great music and a sense of community. Rudy’s immediately met success, and has grown extensively since its humble beginnings in the early 90s.
After designing and building multiple Rudy’s locations in Seattle, Mallet, Inc. was tasked with taking on the project management for the Rudy’s expansion. Their first item on the to-do list was to find a qualified Portland contractor to partner with; a past client referred them to us, and we all connected immediately.
Owen Gabbert LLC helped coordinate an architect of record and provided pre-construction services to facilitate a quick, efficient turnaround from design to construction, before completely renovating the new Rudy’s space on north Mississippi.
To fit the Rudy’s design aesthetic, we designed and installed a large reclaimed wood partition wall, a one-quarter-plate steel shelf with an integrated clipper rail and a traditional tile wainscot. Walk into this new space today, and you’ll notice updated paint, lighting and casework, all of which augment the existing brick walls and wood floors, while a custom mural wraps around multiple walls. The result is a modern and sophisticated space that harkens back to barbershops of days past.
Built in 1971, this ranch house remained relatively unchanged in its 40 years of existence. In 2015, Owen Gabbert LLC helped the new owners acquire the home, and additionally coordinated and participated in the design process. Ultimately, Owen Gabbert LLC functionally remodeled the existing home and built an attached ADU in its backyard.
One of the primary goals of this remodel was to modernize the home, both in feel and in function. Careful consideration was also made for aging in place, so ADA standards were considered throughout. In order to achieve this, existing partition walls between the living room and kitchen were removed, resulting in an open space with an updated feel. The garage was reduced in size in order to offer more space in the home itself; what was formerly excess garage space now accommodates a laundry room and a larger, reoriented kitchen with an island.
On the outside, existing T1-11 plywood siding, originally used as both a structural and finish material, was covered with one inch of rigid insulation to improve the home's overall energy performance. Dark-stained tongue and groove cedar siding was added to improve the exterior appearance. Colorful accents, as well as new landscaping and hardscaping now complement the house. Today, this 70s'-era ranch house maintains its vintage charm with updated, modern amenities and curb appeal.
Completed in conjunction with the Commercial House remodel, the small accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is intended to help offset the homeowners’ monthly mortgage, offer accommodations for future live-in care and add density to the increasingly popular Mississippi neighborhood in Portland. This ADU offers a unique living space at a reasonable price in a desirable neighborhood; all of this is achieved without unduly imposing on existing neighbors or tearing down long-standing structures.
Given the compact nature of the home, emphasis was placed on ceiling height, light and overall simplicity. Abundant natural light comes in from all sides through large windows. This two-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom unit is spacious enough to feel comfortable, and is oriented to feel both private and personal. A patio opens to the south, and the unit can be accessed from the alley behind, or the street in front via a path to the north of the house. This unit blends seamlessly with the existing house by virtue of matching siding and windows, but differentiates itself through its vertical orientation. It’s just tall enough for those inside to see over the house, but barely noticeable from passersby on the street.
As a fast-growing company, Empirical needed to quickly expand into a much larger space in the Eastbank Commerce Center. After working successfully with the building owner on a different tenant improvement, Owen Gabbert, LLC was referred to Empirical to provide timely assistance to ready the new space prior to the move-in date.
We worked closely with one of the principals at Empirical, a former architect, and developed a system of custom OSB-clad, canted and glazed conference rooms that contrast the existing concrete and metal shell. Curved walls and LED lighting are visible from the nearby highway and provide a modern balance to the historic building.
With a growing family, the homeowners of this project knew that they wanted to incorporate more functional space into their living area. The challenge was that the only empty space to work with was the original garage, which had been rendered unnecessary by an earlier, separate garage addition. However, when the homeowner and Owen Gabbert LLC looked at the fact that the garage itself connected directly to a recently redone kitchen, it became obvious that turning that less-than-ideal space into a family room was actually going to make for the ideal remodel.
Owen Gabbert LLC began by removing the old slab from the garage floor and reframing it. Polished, dyed concrete slab with electric radiant heat was installed to make the space even more warm and welcoming. In collaboration with the owner and Mike Flowers, Owen Gabbert LLC created a family room with custom cabinets, CVG fir sliding doors that open onto a large private deck, and a custom shiplap wood ceiling.
Today, the finished family room is bright and open, and the space ties the entire home together. Most important of all, the Vista Sunroom is now central gathering place for the entire family to enjoy together.
The Karuna Consortium project, located on the third floor of the Karuna West Building, is an example of minimalist style and attention to detail.
Owen Gabbert LLC worked to tailor this space to the needs of its owner, who requested private, but expansive office spaces, custom cabinetry and refined, reclaimed wood accents. Working with Holst Architecture, we set out to create a space with clean lines and details that augment the building’s original and unique architecture. To achieve this goal, Owen Gabbert LLC used reclaimed hardwood pallet material from Viridian for the floors and paneling. We installed custom door and window assemblies next to existing structural wood glulams and intentionally created a reveal between them and the baseboards, to create a beautiful shadow line throughout the space. Vibrant laminate cabinets with an exposed birch plywood edge were chosen to give the office a hint of modern brightness and color while maintaining the true look of the quality material. The result of careful attention to detail is an office that is as beautiful as it is unique.
Oddfellows, an award-winning creative studio specializing in design and animation originally based out of San Francisco, chose One North to be the location of their Portland outpost. For this office space, Oddfellows took about a quarter of the third floor of the Karuna West building and requested a clean, open and simple floor plan with just the essentials.
Owen Gabbert LLC worked with the landlord and the folks at Oddfellows to create a workspace that joins form and function while allowing the beauty of the building to speak for itself – all on a tight budget. Exposed wood beams anchor the space, neutral tones of white and gray provide subtle accents throughout, and natural light permeates through west facing windows. The office is equipped with large worktables, a kitchen, a dining table and a Ping-Pong table for afternoon matches. The layout includes only one enclosed space, but provides maximum flexibility for growth and use.
The SW 66th remodel began as a house firmly rooted in the design aesthetic of the 1980s, with heavily textured ceilings, a closed-off living room, and aging floors. Owen Gabbert LLC approached this remodel in two phases in order to turn this 80s-style house into a classic home suited to fit its new owners.
The homeowners moved from Texas to Portland, and came with a clear vision of the classic design they wanted their home to embody. They also had a time constraint due to their recent arrival, and wanted to move in as swiftly as possible. This presented a challenge that Owen Gabbert LLC worked hard to overcome, which we did successfully through creative problem solving and phased project delivery.
Phase one included the comprehensive work of replacing all of the home’s floors, repainting the entire space, and smoothing out the outdated popcorn ceilings as well as targeted structural work at the kitchen and living room. Several walls were removed in order to open up the space, and to create a sense of fluidity between rooms. Owen Gabbert LLC redid the kitchen from the studs out, adding an island, moving the sink, placing brand-new cabinets with brass fixtures, and redoing the windows for brightness and functionality.
In phase two, Owen Gabbert LLC tackled the master bathroom, turning an outdated space into a classic room for relaxation. The new master shower has walls clad entirely in a classic tile, and brass accents that provide continuity from room to room. A large skylight and matching glass shower doors provide an air of openness, while finishing touches of brass light fixtures and tandem sinks in a marble vanity top perfectly balance functionality with elegance.
In all, the SW 66th home now embodies a clean and classic style that is perfectly suited to its new owners.
The original Rejuvenation showroom, located on Portland’s East side, offers unique shopping grounds for locals and visitors alike to find new, retro, antique, and period lighting and fixtures. In addition, Rejuvenation is now home to a remodeled café that offers counter-service Italian-American fare. Figlia Americana provides a bright and vibrant space for those shopping (or those just stopping by) to sit down and relax with a good meal in good company.
Owen Gabbert LLC worked with Figlia owner-operators, Staicoff Design Company, and Rejuvenation staff to turn the existing space into the finished Figlia Café. The remodel entailed fully redoing the kitchen space, adding a new tile accent wall and Rejuvenation shelving that provides a functional focal point, installing brand-new countertops and a custom ordering counter, while showcasing modern lighting fixtures provided by Rejuvenation throughout.
Contractor: Owen Gabbert LLC
Designer: Staicoff Design Company
Situated on an alley in the converted B3 garage, the Owen Gabbert LLC office blends simplicity of design with the efficiency of a live/work environment. Designed collaboratively, OSB walls and polished concrete floors provide the backdrop for hacked Ikea desks in an open office and a compact bathroom. Members of the admin and development teams occupy the office with another local business owner. A transparent glazed garage door lets sunlight in and promotes community interaction with bikers, dog walkers and neighbors while expanding on the alley engagement created by the original B3 construction.
The Edlund project is near and dear to our heart, as the homeowners have been longtime friends of Owen Gabbert LLC. For this home, two objectives were top priority: provide more space for a growing family, and complete previously unfinished elements of the home with personalized designs.
With this remodel, the Edlund home went from a two-bedroom, one-bath, to a three-bedroom, three-bath with a large family room. On the main floor, Owen Gabbert LLC expanded the space of the home by enlarging an existing bedroom into a new master suite with a vaulted ceiling, wood paneling, a master closet and doors that look out into the back yard. The master suite also includes a custom bathroom with a furniture-style vanity, brand-new shower with large format subway tile, frameless shower door, and black accents made from the same stone as the countertops.
In order to further expand and maximize space, Owen Gabbert LLC converted the existing and new basement area a family room, bedroom, and bathroom. Instead of building up, we brought the exterior grade down to the basement level to create a private patio with multiple large windows and doors to bring in natural light. The new daylight basement, with finished concrete floors and doors that lead out to a patio, provides a perfect space for kids, dogs, friends and family to enjoy.
Undertaking a remodel on your own, particularly of your kitchen, can be a harrowing experience. Recognizing the peril of the task at hand, this client contracted Owen to complete pre-construction and course of construction consulting, including plan analysis, subcontractor recommendation, bid review and project scheduling. By engaging Owen Gabbert LLC early in the process to identify and address potential issues, the homeowner was able to act as his own contractor and complete the project on budget and ahead of schedule, with impressive results.
Designer: Michael Flowers Architect
Construction Consulting: Owen Gabbert LLC
This compact condo was completely rethought and rebuilt. Anchored by an extensive system of built-ins designed by the architect, this comprehensive remodel included a complete reorientation of the kitchen. The sink and stove were both shifted to maximize the natural light from a large sliding glass door, and an existing wall was removed to create an open feel along with significant casework in the living room and bedrooms. In addition to revamping the finishes in every room, Owen Gabbert LLC also brainstormed solutions and resolved long-term shifts in the building structure using a suspended ceiling and a Wedi board system for the floor that brought both into alignment.
The Mississippi Duplex is a converted 1910 foursquare craftsman home. Owen Gabbert LLC handled all steps of the project, including acquisition, financing, design and construction. The project included a full rehab of each unit and the exterior of the house. Part restoration and part modernization, we removed asbestos siding at the exterior of the house to reveal the original cedar lap siding, and installed a historically accurate drip cap at the belly band as well as lintels at the window and door casing. In the upper unit, a pair of fir French doors open on to a new Ipe deck with a custom two-by-two cedar railing, added to provide quality outdoor space. On the inside, both kitchens were demolished, redesigned with open floor plans and completely rebuilt. Existing and reclaimed fir is featured prominently throughout the building, including a custom bar built from studs reclaimed from removed interior walls and the original refinished floors.
The Commissary hand crafts syrups and juices for individuals, events and bar use. Located in a previously unfinished space in the bottom floor of the newly renovated Eastside Exchange building, the Commissary required significant in slab work to provide sufficient plumbing infrastructure for the production facility.
Careful consideration was also required to meet Oregon Department of Agriculture food safety requirements in a simple, yet budget-conscious way. Century-old wood had to be wrapped carefully in vinyl-backed paper to ensure that there would be no contamination of the ingredients.
After evaluating several other spaces with the owners, Owen Gabbert LLC was hired to complete the build.
Designer: Scott Edwards Architecture (Sara Ruzomberka)
Contractor: Owen Gabbert LLC
Photographer: Dina Avila
The Forest Grove Medical Clinic is an award-winning building that was originally constructed in 1979. Significant subsequent additions were completed in 1981 and 1983. In more recent years, it had fallen into disrepair while not in use. Owen Gabbert LLC was hired to complete a survey of the existing buildings in order to evaluate what work needed to be done, as well as to examine what renovations could be done, while including the cost implications of each.
Over the course of the survey, a preliminary feasibility study was completed to determine the most appropriate redevelopment options. Presently, ownership is considering their options, with intent of testing the market using information provided by Owen Gabbert LLC as a guide.