Hennebery Eddy designed the New Industrial Revolution (NIR) Center to be an anchor of Portland’s emerging innovation hub in the Central Eastside Industrial District, providing space for the region’s expanding bioscience industry. Incorporating an innovative hybrid mass timber structural system, the 10-story biotech building was designed to provide approximately 235,000 square feet of flexible laboratory space and 25,000 square feet of creative office and shared meeting rooms, along with ground-floor retail.
The design accommodates standardized lab modules and provides flexible floor plates to support the various laboratory requirements of life science companies. The innovative hybrid structural system incorporates steel beams into the mass timber floor system, allowing for larger structural bays without impact to floor-to-floor height. This system also creates a planar ceiling — ideal for providing long-term flexibility for laboratory mechanical and electrical systems routing.
Organized as two essentially identical towers with a central circulation and mechanical core, the building’s layout optimizes daylighting and views, contributing to healthy indoor spaces ideal for innovation. The design is characterized by simple volumes, inspired by the surrounding industrial vernacular and the mass brick construction of early American high-rise towers and reinterpreted with modern materials. Porches, a terrace, and a private courtyard were designed to provide an outdoor connection while creating a break in the simple volumes.