We see architecture as a tool for moving the world forward.
LEVER is a leading architectural practice recognized for design excellence and material innovation. From our offices in Portland and Los Angeles, we collaborate with communities, institutions, and creative companies to design buildings and spaces that elevate human experience.
We see architecture as a tool for moving the world forward, leveraging the forces that shape our broader culture to create buildings that amplify our clients’ goals and aspirations. Design excellence is the fulcrum of LEVER’s approach to making buildings that are simple, elegant, beautiful, and inherently useful.
We are focused on how we can leverage the specific qualities of a place—climate, access to materials, community, and the resources of the specific sites we work with—to deliver design excellence in every project we undertake, whether at home on the west coast or nationally.
Innovation distinguishes our work. In parallel with our projects, we develop and test next generation building assemblies and sustainable tools—a research effort supported by more than $2M in grant funding. For our commitment to boundary pushing design and research, LEVER was named one of the world's most innovative companies by Fast Company. Other significant firm honors include Architectural Record’s Design Vanguard and the Architectural League of New York’s Emerging Voices.
Our approach to environmentally conscious design links building performance to spatial experience. We believe sustainability should enhance the architectural quality and character of a building. By showcasing sustainable materials and incorporating elements such as gardens, green roofs, and solar arrays into designs, we create inspiring spaces that meet the highest performance standards and make conservation legible.
We embrace the AIA 2030 Commitment for reaching net zero emissions and have completed numerous LEED certified buildings, both Platinum and Gold. For sustainable excellence, our work has received the AIA Committee on the Environment’s highest honor and a national USGBC Leadership Award.
Leveraging sustainability to create compelling architecture inspired us to pursue our pioneering work with mass timber construction. We are passionate about timber architecture because it is beautiful and can be sustainable. When made from responsibly sourced wood, mass timber can use significantly less carbon than a conventional structure or even be carbon negative.
Having completed 10 mass timber structures and 40+ research studies, we are advocates for responsible forestry and sustainable wood construction. Our timber innovation continues as we prepare to test a 10-story resilient wood rocking wall structure on an earthquake simulator and develop new digital tools that will allow the AEC industry and the public to understand the land management practices behind wood products.
Our firm stands up for racial and social justice and works to disrupt the systems that perpetuate inequality. Equity work permeates our culture and our design process. We are currently designing libraries, schools, and affordable housing that aim to repair injustice and unlock opportunity for communities of color and other historically marginalized groups.
LEVER’s projects put real strategies to work. We embrace sustained community engagement to inform our design process, we are intentional about establishing diverse teams, we prioritize sourcing local materials from disadvantaged businesses, we design inclusive buildings that go beyond ADA, and we incorporate art that celebrates diverse cultures. These are only some of the ways that our team brings an equity lens to projects.
Within our office, we work to create an inclusive culture where dialogue and action around equity are valued. We commit time to equity training and hold an annual firm culture audit organized by an independent Black owned business. Our firm prioritizes community projects with a DEI focus, and we continue to expand collaborations with diverse design partners and consultants.
To build a pipeline for a more diverse design profession, we collaborate with schools and organizations like Your Street, Your Voice to design, fund, and run programming for BIPOC youth. The firm also has its own initiative called TeamUp that pairs our staff with students of color who are interested in built environment careers. Our equity work is ongoing and evolving.