A Contemporary Vision for Business


med_DSC_copy4Thinking that a progressive business plan needs a contemporary look, developer Steve Larsen has teamed with architect Mike Gorman of GGL Architecture and general contractor HSW Builders to create an urban setting that certainly pushes the envelope.


Vision Plaza, a 30,000 square foot business condominium project in Bend, is testimony to new urbanism with its bold floor-to-ceiling curtain wall glass, zinc panel upper band under the roof line and dark iron spot brick that allows it to stand out in the Shevlin Corporate Park.


The extraordinary styling continues with a wonderful main entry lobby that includes stainless steel cable railings on the stairway, marble stair treads and modern light fixtures all of which leads to 13 business condominiums ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 square feet on two floors.


There’s also a 37-space underground parking garage and common-use rooftop patio that allows anyone to ease-drop on concerts at the nearby Les Schwab Amphitheater. The underground parking garage allowed Larsen to expand the building from 18,000 to 30,000 square feet and make it affordable for business owners to actually own a portion of the building.


“”As a developer, I think we’ve created something that sets us apart, both in look and concept,” Larsen said. “We built a larger building where everyone becomes an owner and they can finish their product in a fashion that they desire.”

The concept certainly appealed to Viking Construction which builds homes in NorthWest Crossing, IronHorse, Northpointe, Shevlin Crest and is about to begin in Tethrow, the area’s newest golf resort community.


Co-owners Kurt Reynolds and John Audia became the first condo owners and created a unique and user-friendly work center that includes administrative offices, conference room, “think tank”, full kitchen galley and planning room with ample work space.


Senior project manager Bret Matteis and assistants Jon Tesarik and Dan Wellert of HSW Builders were instrumental in the planning and preparation for the project that in the end equaled timeliness and value engineering.

“There was great teamwork on this project from the very beginning,” Matteis said. “It was the proverbial three-legged stool with the developer, architect and builder all working in harmony and everyone held up their end to make it happen. The final costs came in right at the preliminary budget, and I credit that to great teamwork.”


It started with Larsen’s vision and then continued with Gorman’s flare for penciling some very cool design elements. The floor-to-ceiling glass leaves up to the building’s name, allowing occupants to gain stunning visuals of the Cascade Mountains to the west and the Old Mill District to the east.


The choice of dark iron spot brick coupled with the windows and glass is a far cry from the endless rows of craftsman-style buildings in the neighborhood and sets Vision Plaza apart.


“It is a little more urban than most of the buildings in the neighborhood,” Gorman said in the understatement of the year. “We used different materials like the zinc metal and the darker brick to raise the bar. There’s also a lot of sustainability features to this building, things like low VOC materials, high-efficiency window glazing, operable windows and a water detention system that pumps water from 15,000 gallon tanks to areas around the building.”


The rooftop deck including barbecue, patio furniture and beverage chiller is the “fun spot” of the project where any condo owner can entertain guests. There’s also a locker room on the second floor complete with shower that allows users to run or bicycle on breaks, freshen up and then return to work.


Viking Construction showed its creativity with its office space. It developed a great lobby that includes a flat-panel HDTV that highlights the company’s projects; a conference room with drop ceiling that has a magnificent view of the Old Mill District and an adjoining “think tank” room that anyone would love to call their den.


“When we first started planning the project with Steve, we thought the underground parking garage would be great in the winter and we’ve found that it’s a big hit during the heat of the summer at 65 degrees during the peak of the day,” Reynolds said.


“Then, we initially weren’t going to do the rooftop deck because of budget, then decided to go ahead and do it and it’s become a huge hit. This is just a fun place to come to work.”


You can also look for Viking Construction’s entry in the Tour of Homes at IronHorse in Prineville that will be a strong contender for honors in the $250,000 and under category.


In the end, Larsen said the project is exactly what he envisioned when he first met with GGL Architecture and HSW Builders.


“I love the contemporary feel,” he said. “What’s most gratifying is seeing a vision come to fruition. The goal was to create a user-friendly work space, and we got just what we wanted.”



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