Twelve|West, Portland, Oregon - Verdict Designbuild
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Twelve|West, Portland, Oregon

Twelve|West is a sustainable mixed-use development in Portland, Oregon, US. The urban high-rise building is the firs

Project Type

Mixed-use tower


Portland, Oregon, US

Number of Storeys


Site Area



Twelve|West is a sustainable mixed-use development in Portland, Oregon, US. The urban high-rise building is the first of its kind in the US to install four wind turbines on the rooftop.

The project demonstrates future sustainable building design in a rapidly transforming urban neighbourhood. The building is located in the emerging West End of Portland, with the downtown business district to the east, Pearl District in the north, and the arts and university districts to the south.

The 23-storey building consists of retail space on the first floor, four floors of office space (two to five) and 18 floors of residential apartments (six to 23), named Indigo @ Twelve|West. The total area of the development is 51,300m².

Designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF) Architects, which is headquartered in the building, Twelve|West achieved two LEED Platinum certifications for base building new construction (NC) and ZGF’s office commercial interiors (CI) ratings system. Construction of the 81m Twelve|West building began in February 2007 and was completed in May 2009. The facility opened in July 2009.

The project was developed by Gerding Edlen and has won a place in the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment (AIA/COTE) Top Ten Green Projects of 2010.

Twelve|West design

The building features an environmentally friendly roof, electricity wind turbines, a fitness studio, a theatre, and three roof-level terraces and gardens.

“Twelve|West demonstrates sustainable building design in a rapidly transforming urban neighbourhood.”

The first floor accommodates the building’s lobby and retail space, and provides garage access. There are separate lobby spaces and entrances for the commercial and residential units, connected with street-level retail space on Washington Street.

The 7,897m² office area serves as a living laboratory for ZGF Architects. The folding stainless steel plate staircase with wood treads, leading to the office reception, is suspended by stainless steel cables. The staircase is illuminated by optical fibres and the reception area has movable doors and furniture to ensure flexible usage.

Most of the office space is built using claro walnut wood floors and white oak panelling to create a visual barrier between public and employee areas. All the floors have alternating interior communicating stairs.

The 273 Indigo apartments include studios, and one, two and three-bedroom units ranging from 50m² to 200m², and three floors of penthouse homes. The material palette and colour used in the apartments vary with the layout options to maximise the natural light.


The Twelve|West façade is a transparent, reflective and articulated curtain wall. The planar structural façade is angled in the south to give an aesthetic appearance to the building. Texture modifications include fretted reflective semi-opaque panels, operable windows, balconies and various colours of stainless steel to create a lively enclosure.

Twelve|West facilities

“Twelve|West has won a place in the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment (AIA/COTE) Top Ten Green Projects in 2010.”

The ZGF office has custom-designed workstations, a resource library, a model saw room and 13 conference rooms with provisions for wide-screen televisions. The Indigo apartments have a 210-seat screening room theatre, exterior terrace decks, workout and rooftop rooms, and an amenity room. The floors of the building have a central refuse and recycling station. The building has five levels of parking below ground.


Twelve|West represents a sustainable design with four, 14m wind turbines on top of the building. The Skystream 3.7 turbines will annually produce 9,000kW/h and provide information on wind flow for research. The apartments contain sustainable materials such as bamboo veneer casework, recycled content carpets, zero-VOC paint, low-flow plumbing fixtures, PVC-free window coverings, granite counter tops and Energy Star appliances.

The design allows for maximum natural light and ventilation throughout the building. The exposed concrete interiors provide thermal mass and reduce the use of finish materials. The 650m² roof features 370m² of low-water roof plantation and rainwater reuse. The building is also installed with a solar thermal array for domestic hot water.

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