Mississippi is a new mixed-use building located on a prominent commercial avenue in Portland. The building is envisioned as a prototype that works to strike a balance between timelessness and flexibility. Mississippi will be the first commercial project in Oregon to use cross-laminated timber (CLT) for the entire structure. All surfaces in the building – with the exception of the concrete floor – are exposed mass timber wood, creating rooms with a strong sense of permanence and beauty.
The organization of the building and its spaces are designed to create distinct zones for program and services. The building is comprised of six equal rooms, stacked in three on each side of a shared courtyard. A service and circulation bar connects these two wings. This bar relieves the rooms of much of their individual building systems requirements, housing bathrooms, stairs, elevators, and acting as a spring point for any kitchen and plumbing tie ins for the main spaces. The courtyard unifies the six spaces that make up the building, creating a semi-private internal space which acts both as a retreat from the busy street life and also a space for events or gatherings.
Envisioned for an ever-changing set of functions, the building will begin with an array of uses. On Day One, the building will have retail and workshop space on the ground floor. As the building evolves over time, the spaces have been designed to accommodate changing uses. The ultimate goal is the create a future-proof building that also possesses a strong sense of materiality and permanence.
Source: Waechter Architecture