Brewery Blocks

Portland, Oregon
Brewing Future Development

The Brewery Blocks’ wayfinding program shows a reverence for the area’s history, while keeping visitors oriented on their paths through the mixed-use structure.


Portland’s trend-setting Brewery Blocks, opened in 2006, were a crucial stepping stone for a downtown district that has become a Pacific Northwest retail and residential gem. Known as the Pearl District, the area saw explosive growth following the Brewery Blocks’ completion. Located at the southern edge of the Pearl District, the Brewery Blocks presented a challenge for Knot designers who developed its placemaking and wayfinding program. The 1.5 million-square-foot urban retail and class A office space development, in the heart of the city and the Pearl, required a parking garage to serve the five-block development and make it possible for visitors to easily navigate from their cars to the multiple uses above.


Anchored by the historic Henry Weinhard Brewery complex, Knot designers recognized the Brewery Blocks’ historical and architectural importance by drawing upon images of the former brewery. Knot’s designs embraced the history of the structures above, while also celebrating the adaptive re-use project’s transformational nature. Bright colors identify each level of the parking structure, and elevator lobbies share a common image for all floors of the garage. Overhead directional and wall-mounted graphics help drivers move to the closest elevators and exits, and back to their cars. Knot’s design celebrates the Brewery Blocks’ history, while providing vital and easy-to-understand graphics.

1.5 million sq ft
Gerding Edlen
GBD Architects