GBD Architects
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TBA: 13

Portland, Oregon

Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s (PICA) Time Based Art (TBA) festival occurs each September, establishing an internationally recognized venue for contemporary performance art. GBD supported the ten-day festival in 2013 by designing the built environment at the event’s primary venue space, titled “The Works.” The location of “The Works” changes each year, and for this event GBD, PICA, and contractor Schommer & Sons worked together to transform a 40,000 square foot warehouse in the Con-way District of Northwest Portland into a bustling hub for the arts festival.

GBD worked closely with PICA to devise a creative solution, based on donated time and materials, which would provide a backdrop for the festival. Built elements, such as bar counters and staircases, were designed and constructed using recycled wood pallets, providing the warehouse with the amenities it needed to function as a performance-art venue. Over 200 light bulbs were arranged in a grid to illuminate the interior of the windowless warehouse space, providing warmth and scale to an otherwise expansive concrete box.

The simplicity and flexibility of the design provided PICA with a space that was able to be constructed and de-constructed within a narrow time frame, using volunteer labor and a tight budget. Ultimately, in the words of PICA’s Artistic Director Angela Maddox, “The imaginative design concept exceeded expectations. The design was visionary, connected with the aesthetic values and elevated the festival venue.”



50,0000 sf


Portland Institute for Contemporary Art

© GBD Architects Incorporated 1120 NW Couch St., Suite 300 Portland, OR 97209 Tel. (503) 224-9656

©GBD Architects Incorporated

  • 1120 NW Couch St., Suite 300 Portland, OR 97209
  • (503) 224-9656