Converted commercial building into exceptional industrial loft in Portland


Emerick Architects renovated this exceptional industrial loft that combines three structures from varying periods over the past century, located in Portland, Oregon. The building had once been a corner grocery store, a printing press, and a mechanic’s shop. The design was inspired by the homeowner’s prior New York apartment. This 8,000 square foot building had great bones but was in need of an overhaul.

The architects added a 2,400-square-foot penthouse and a roof garden, creating an urban oasis and a highly energy-efficient home. With roughly 2,000 square feet of solar arrays, this structure is virtually off-the-grid. Marrying practicality with craftsmanship, almost everything for this project was handmade locally from raw materials by Portland artisans including cabinetry, steelwork, railings, doors, stairs, lighting fixtures, stucco, and plaster.

Above: The dining table is an antique table that the owners found in a local shop. Recessed dish shelves on the side of the fireplace wall are composed of steel, in a natural finish. For the lighting, the architects ran conduit to appear like fire sprinklers used in a commercial structure. The electrician ran wiring for the Edison lamps.


Above: The kitchen walls are painted in Ivory Turret OW124 (water-based satin sheen). A center island measure 5’x10′, topped with marble. Perimeter countertops are stainless steel. The refrigerator is a SubZero, while the range is a Wolf. Soaring ceilings rise to a height of 12’1″ to the timber beam and 1’6″ from there to the reclaimed wood ceiling. Overall kitchen dimensions are approximately 17′ x 17′.


Above: All of the kitchen cabinetry is custom design out of stainless steel, from Custom Metal Fab. The sink is a 37″ x 19″ custom integral stainless steel sink with drainboard, while the faucet is from Chicago Faucets — Lacava 1920 Pro Kitchen Faucet. The flooring is reclaimed wood planks that were painted white. Marvin wood windows are painted Black (satin Impervo sheen). Illuminating from above, the light fixtures with the clear glass shade are from Schoolhouse Electric.


Above: The brackets above the fireplace are for hanging flower arrangements such as seasonal garlands (as can be seen in the image below). The period sofa was purchased in a local antique store.


Above: The fireplace surround is a pigmented cement plaster. The hearth is pigmented polished concrete, 3″ thick. Firewood has been stacked into the shelves, creating an eye-catching aesthetic in this exceptional industrial loft.


Above: The desk in the home office is a found vintage piece formerly used in a post office.


Above: The ladder was picked out by the homeowners at an antique store. The entire sliding door and hardware were custom designed by the architects.


What We Love: This exceptional industrial loft offers plenty of unique vintage finds and custom details throughout. We are especially loving the kitchen, with its soaring ceilings and incredible light fixtures. There is plenty of imagination that went into restoring this structure and transforming it into a welcoming home. FYI: The accent wall in the master bedroom is painted in Cracked Pepper from Behr, the only color in this loft. In the corner, a Steele Canvas Basket is used for bed pillow storage at night. 

Tell Us: What do you think of the transformation of this industrial building into a home? Could you live in this dwelling? Share with us why or why not in the Comments!

Note: Have a look at a couple of other home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of Emerick Architects: Craftsman-style home in Portland gets transformed to connect with nature and Coastal cottage makeover with vintage style in Seaside, Oregon: Old Salty.


Above: In the master bathroom, the sink is a re-purposed urinal purchased at Rejuvenation. The patina on the bottom was preserved. Custom inset zinc medicine cabinets are extra deep and have outlets to keep this space clutter-free. The subway tile is 3″x6″. TIP: If you wish to have a cast iron sink with a similar aesthetic, try the Kohler Brockway series. They have it in 3′, 4′, and 5′ sizes.


Above: Downstairs, an existing apartment is used as a model train room, bathroom weight room, and a two-car garage. There is an additional bay that the homeowners use as an indoor dog run on rainy days.


Above: The hand railing was custom fabricated by Right Angle Construction. The stairs wind their way around the elevator shaft, which is coated with traditional pigmented plaster. 



Above: The dresser was sourced from a local antique store called ‘Seek the Unique’. All of the windows and doors throughout this project are from Marvin Windows and Doors. Pictured above is the Marvin Ultimate Bi-Fold Door. These doors are aluminum clad on the exterior and wood on the interior. 



Above: From the exterior facade you can see where the architects added a second level to the existing commercial structure. This created a new loft-style home for the residents. The existing structure had new windows integrated into the facade, along with a facelift to blend with the new rooftop dwelling.




Photos: Lincoln Barber

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Kelly Sandstrom
1 year ago

I have driven by this home for years and am even MORE intrigued now that I’ve gotten to see the interior photos. Lovely job. Wish it were for sale! Kelly Sandstrom, Suburbia Realty Group