Department of Human Services in Dallas, OR

Lenity Architecture has had the privilege of designing several public buildings such as the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, Department of Justice, Community Action Agency, and the Office of Public Defense. We are an ongoing architectural partner of the Department of Human Services (DHS) and have provided design and planning for a dozen of their buildings. Our current project is a 32,000 sq. ft. two-story building designed specifically for the DHS Child Welfare and Self Sufficiency programs.


The objectives of the project were to design a cost-effective building that would meet the design review guidelines for the City of Dallas, complement the existing retail development, and accommodate security protocols.

The stringent design review guidelines presented the challenge of designing and selecting quality building finishes that were attractive yet economical. The materials used were low maintenance and long lasting for energy efficiency, function and beauty. The materials chosen also blend in well with the modern and sophisticated retail environment.

Because the building will serve Polk County’s DHS Child Welfare and Self Sufficiency programs, it was especially important to factor into the design high security protocols from floor to floor and from staff to client.DHS-Dallas-Oregon-Lenity-Architecture-3



This exciting project is scheduled for a spring of 2016 completion. The caring staff of DHS are looking forward to moving into their new home with eager anticipation!

Sunriver Nature Center & Oregon Observatory Renovation

Lenity Architecture is designing the Sunriver Nature Center & Oregon Observatory (near Bend, OR) campus master plan for a major renovation and new building project. The northwest contemporary style renovation addresses fundamental issues such as the need for additional space, vehicular and pedestrian circulation, and enhanced usability of existing space.

Sunriver Nature Center Design 1

In keeping with the Nature Center & Oregon Observatories commitment to education and the environment, every aspect of the building design is an example of form following function. As visitors experience the buildings and outdoor attractions, they are learning first hand about sustainable green building practices.

Interpretive Building 02

The new building will serve as the interpretive center allowing the Nature Center & Oregon Observatory to expand and enhance exhibits. The existing building will be renovated to act as the administration, classroom and animal hospital. The newly formed space between the two buildings creates a garden walkway leading to the lake, outdoor class areas and new bird enclosure.

Interpretive Building 01

The campus renovation establishes building frontage and gives visitors a clear sense of arrival. Visitors will now understand how to enter the campus and the intended order of their experience. The Sunriver Nature Center & Oregon Observatory and outdoor event space each offer a unique experience and draw visitors wanting to see all or just a portion of the attractions. The renovation also enhances traffic flow by the deliberate separation of visitors based on their purpose.

Reimagining the Project Team

The design and building industry conjures up mental images that can range from lofty corner offices with artfully placed bamboo to diesel trucks and hard hats. In our world, the images creating a divide between the design and building teams fall away and are replaced by a deeply rooted common thread–intense caring for our mutual clients.

In practical terms, this kind of caring means the architectural team works hand in hand with builders for a seamless, profitable and even fun experience for everyone. No egos–just complimentary professions working together to best meet the client’s needs.

1. Fewer surprises. We’ve found clients are rarely excited about surprises unless it’s how much money they’re saving (or cookies).

2. An inclusive approach to planning and design means seeing the project through a different set of lenses. Understanding the project from every angle saves the entire project team (including the client) time and money.

3. A team approach necessitates flexibility and humility. Approaching each project with a spirit of willingness yields strong relationships that continue long after the project’s completion. And that’s what it’s all about, right?

Brewed Awakenings Construction-2
Project team at the ECLIPTIC at Sunriver


It sounds like a science project, but unpleasant surprises result from the planning and design phase happening in a vacuum. From the early pre-planning stages to project completion–the best work results from transparency, open communication and a relationship-centered approach with the entire project team.

Our work begins by determining a project’s feasibility and providing a comprehensive cost analysis. Lenity Architecture’s in-house land use and zoning specialists determine up-front any potential system development charges and building permits. We put our pencils to work and help clients determine how a property or space will accommodate an existing program or a brilliant new idea.

By working together with the broker, contractor and developer through the early pre-planning stages, we’re demonstrating a vested interest in the project. Just like the client, we are taking on a measured element of risk at the beginning–but a shared commitment to the project yields returning clients and deep mutual trust and respect.

“Being involved early in the design process allows us to budget an idea. As a builder, there is nothing more rewarding than working side by side with the owner and architect to see a cocktail napkin sketch through to building completion. If there is a time to save money, it’s early in the design process before dollars are spent on documents. When everyone on the project team is committed to this process, we can typically make it work from a budget standpoint. We recently went through this process on a project and by working through the early pre-planning phase as a team, we were able to reduce project costs by 30% from initial budget to working budget/completed design.” -Gary North, R&H Construction


Putting the client’s needs first doesn’t always equate to a wall of design awards–but the glossiest of portfolios can’t build relationships.

From the early pre-planning phases, we work with the project team to evaluate how the project’s aesthetics impact the owner and tenant’s immediate and long-term costs. We consider usability, material lifetimes, and cost effective energy conservation measures. Exercising flexibility and humility with the contractor and developer doesn’t always mean compromise–it’s simply the ability to see the project through their eyes to arrive at the best results for the client.

Did you know the word “lenity” literally means the quality of being mild or gentle towards others? At Lenity Architecture, we strive to live up to our name and have found that a spirit of willingness, enthusiasm and respect are powerful drivers of long-term success. Decades of experience have taught us that regardless of the project size or complexity, there is great reward in seeing it through as a team.

Hotel Interior Design–An Insider’s Perspective

by Senior Interior Designer, Andrea Fleschner of WCI, Inc.

Andrea F

I design every hotel differently.

I have a method to my madness but I’m the only one that holds the key–and some days–it’s a different key! However, there are overarching principals and considerations that work together to make each of my hospitality interior design projects successful. The foundation of which is being intentional about crafting the guest experience, and working with the hotel architect to create cohesiveness between the interior and exterior design.

The one, unchanging principal of interior design is that the hotel guest should feel something when they walk into the lobby–i.e. esteemed, sophisticated, welcomed, at home. From the first impression to the overall experience, you could say hospitality design is a marriage of emotion and practicality.

We begin the process of hotel design by planning interesting elements that will create an emotional response while leading guests through the hotel. A thoughtfully designed hotel interior will have guests discovering hidden touches of home, regional artistry and originality throughout.

King Suite Hampton Inn

The choice and placement of materials is also important in shaping the guest experience. I consider how the flooring needs to smoothly transition from material to material and pattern to pattern throughout the hotel to create flow. If the furniture is too comfortable it will likely break down sooner because of the use, so fabrics need to be durable, soft and well priced. The patterns should be timeless enough to last 5-7 years but edgy enough to be interesting. We also consider the atmosphere we want to create with lighting and whether window treatments could be fixed panel, sheers over blackout, shutters–or modern roller shades, perhaps? And the floor tiles–will they wear well? Oh, and can we get a performance data sheet on all of that?

Great Room Hampton Inn

Hampton Inn-5

As you can see, every single plane is carefully considered; how will they play off of each other to create a mood, an experience, and a returning guest?

Our favorite projects are those where the architect and designers work together to welcome exterior influences through the front doors and incorporate them throughout the space–those are the projects that shine. A strong dynamic between the architect and interior designer helps make for a cohesively designed hotel inside and out.

When WCI, Inc. worked on the interior design for the Hampton Inn & Suites Vancouver, we met the Project Manager, Lee Gwyn of Lenity Architecture, at the very first meeting. This is unusual as many projects that come through our doors consist of a set of drawings from the architect accompanied by a meeting with the hotel owner. We rarely meet the architect.

After our first meeting, it was clear that Lee Gwyn had a great eye for interior detailing and wanted to be a part of the interior design process. We were thrilled! We like the balance of the two disciplines; Lee wanted to add crown molding to the vaulted ceilings and change a few lobby fabrics to more linear, masculine patterns. We added a textured wall covering with a little shimmer to add depth to those vaulted ceilings. Lee suggested some organic inspiration for the lobby carpet; We punched it up with colors. We hadn’t worked with the lighting manufacturer before, and Lee greatly influenced the selections. The decorative lighting turned out gorgeous and tied everything together–Lee’s suggestions helped develop our final, beautiful, timeless design. We’ve noticed projects that interface between the architect and/or project manager and interior designer always flow better, smoother. It’s simply the right way to design.

Hospitality design is complex and there are myriads of things to consider as we work through the design development. Every surface is an opportunity to leave a lasting impression and every member of the team plays an important part of shaping the whole.

Hampton Inn

The project description in its entirety can be found here.

ECLIPTIC at The Village at Sunriver

In a world where finite resources and creativity in conservation are key, the ECLIPTIC at Sunriver is a tribute to one of the most powerful of all known energy sources–the sun.

The 1460 sq. ft. building is sited to mirror the curve of the sun’s path throughout the year. Such orientation allows potential passive solar energy to be captured by the building through passive solar design. Horizontal and vertical fins act as solar control allowing or denying the sun’s energy into the building at various times of the year.

Brewed Awakenings-3

The arc design is deliberate, powerful and simple. The building’s renovation and massing steps to the west create a hierarchy of forms culminating in a tower element which compliments adjacent buildings and provides a gateway to The Village at Sunriver. The interior curve forms an intimate plaza and entry node for the visitor experience. The interior/exterior seating area within the curve–with its garage doors and operable adjacent windows–bring the beauty of the outdoors in.

The roof form is slightly concave and the intersection with the tower element was challenging. Extensive coordination and detailed computer modeling was used to accurately describe the structure for the builders.

The building’s goal was to house a coffee shop with drive through. An internal access road was created to serve the drive through and join the two previously unconnected parking areas of the site. The windows and vegetated screens create a procession and rhythm at the front of the building’s length.

ECLIPTIC at Sunriver celebrates place, site and our time within it.

Brewed Awakenings-2

Brewed Awakenings

Restaurant Interior Architecture

Restaurant Architecture
Photography by Cheryl McIntosh | Lenity Architecture





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