In 2021, Allied Works completed the latest project in a 25-year collaboration that has led to the construction of 2281 NW Glisan Street in 2000, the renovation of two vintage buildings in downtown Portland, and now 500 NW 23rd Avenue, an ultra-compact, mixed-use building on one of the city’s iconic streets.

Five years earlier, a gas leak from a neighboring construction project caused an explosion that led to the complete destruction of the original wood frame structure on the site and major damage to 2281 Glisan Street. The misfortune turned into an opportunity for Allied Works to revitalize one of the firm’s earliest and most innovative projects and propose a new infill building on the prominent corner lot.

One of the key drivers of 500 NW 23rd was how to best utilize an extremely small and constrained site, and to do so in a way that would create genuine value and distinction within Portland’s “Alphabet” Historic District. A single retail space at ground level houses Smith Teamaker’s newest location and offers visibility from multiple approaches, with near continuous glazing and a wrap-around metal canopy for all weather protection. Above, five residential units are spread across three levels, including three double-height units that provide generous light, space, and airflow within a compact footprint. The building is wrapped in an “Umi” series Japanese glazed porcelain tile and a rhythmic pattern of projecting metal fins, which also include the full-height casement window and “Juliet” balconies. Overall, 500 NW 23rd balances timelessness and quiet elegance with innovative details and features that bring new energy and amenity to one of Portland’s oldest neighborhoods.