Stephen Salazar

Stephen Salazar

Ann Arbor, MI, US


Design Center for the Electric Car | Comprehensive Design Studio

For Comprehensive Building Design, my design studio undertook the creation of a prototyping facility for an electric car manufacturer on the East Side of Portland, Oregon located on Burnside Street. 

At the beginning of the project we were given 6 sites to choose from along the new Burnside/Couch couplet, our task was to identify the site, in response to zoning, and code requirements, that best fit our personal goals for the DCEC (Design Center for the Electric Car).

My (5) goals pertained to the following:

Utilize the character of West Burnside, its eclectic
architecture, business and plans for expansion to
incorporate the aims of an innovative electric car design.

As the automobile engages the precedent of automobiles
previous, this design center will recognize the existing
architecture along the Burnside, allowing the architecture
to inform while allowing the design center exemplify
innovation and forward thinking.

Being the headquarters for the design for an electric
car this facility will allow transparency along the façade
at ground level. This will draw public interest, from those
both walking and driving by, to the goings on of the design

The functions along the ground floor will include
exhibition space for lectures and events.

Integrating the wide knowledge from the design staff
is important to the development of the electric car.

Design studio space will be organized such that collaboration
between design teams can occur from desk to workshop
and vice versa so knowledge may be shared.

Designing a vehicle that produces zero emissions
implies environmental consciousness.

This design center will pursue sustainable strategies such as daylighting,
natural ventilation, and storm water reclamation to illustrate
the design centers position on the preservation of the
environment. These strategies will produce a productive
and comfortable climate for the designers and employees.

Allocate space for the public to gather such that
information from the design center may be presented to
the community allowing for public feedback to the design

This dialogue will be important in developing public
support of the project as well as providing the design teams with the needs, wants and concerns of the consumer.


The final design incorporated an exhibition space for lectures and events, incorporation of the The Farm restaurant which occupied the site previous, as well as entry to underground parking. The second and third floors are design spaces, the second floor being for group discussion and studio desks, the third being for the manufacture of car prototypes. The roof level, is occuped by an extensive green roof, that aids in storm water catchment/management as well protection of the roofing membrane. This roof space houses the design library for product research as well as a conference room the roof space is designed to allow for entertaining of fundraising events and donors. 

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Status: School Project
Location: Portland, OR, US