“Through the design of the Ziba World Headquarters, we set out to create a place that fosters the cross pollination of ideas in a company defined by its multidisciplinary experimentation and excellence. A testament to inspiring, problem-solving design, the new headquarters create an elegant and efficient environment that supports Ziba's creative endeavors.”
Ziba Design has been an anchor and a champion to Portland’s design industry for over 35 years. And the city has returned the favor, providing a welcoming home base that makes it easy to attract talent from around the globe. By the early 2000s, our offices in Portland’s Pearl District were bursting with over 100 designers, researchers, anthropologists, engineers and developers. We’d outgrown our space, both physically and organizationally.
On a brisk December afternoon in 2008, the whole team gathered to break ground on a long, narrow industrial lot a few blocks from our old office, wedged between galleries and cafes on one side, and a railyard on the other. Together with Portland-based Holst Architecture, we set out to create an office building that would serve our work and our clients, as well as the local community where we’d laid down our roots.
From the outset, we knew we had a great partner in Holst, and they helped us refine our vision of a dramatic but serene workspace, that actively encourages the chance interactions that drive creative inspiration. The project rooms, workshops, and communal spaces that make up the three-story space are full of deliberate intent and passion. But especially, it’s the details that show this is a place by and for designers: from faucets and door handles to sightlines inside and out, everything’s considered, no matter how complex or mundane.
“Ziba prides itself on the concept of “co-creation” with their clients, flipping the traditional designer-client relationship inside out. In that way, the new structure is as much a new home for their clients, representatives from major brands who are working on everything from design strategy to industrial design. The project rooms are made open and accessible to clients, who are made to feel at home as well.”
Ziba’s founder, Sohrab Vossoughi, is a big believer in local community, and the need to staying connected to it. So the building reflects local values of sustainability and efficiency, with reclaimed wood and a LEED Gold rating. And the building’s auditorium invites hundreds of participants every year to exchange ideas and solutions.
“For too long the company has occupied a Pearl District storefront with reflective windows and not even a sign in front. If Portland is going to become the international design capital that its leadership is seeking, we need top local design companies like Ziba sitting out on their front porch, so to speak, instead of staying inside with all the shades drawn. Both literally and metaphorically, that has now changed, and Ziba is basking in light.”
Though Covid-19 may have altered the way we worked together in 2020, after a long quarantine we’ve reopened the studio again under new health guidelines. Our building tells a story, and we’d love for you to hear it. So please drop us a line anytime and come over, whether to share ideas on Post-its or craft beer on tap.