Alder Commons: An Uncommon Project

Being home builders, we at Hammer & Hand spend a lot of our time doing remodels, new homes, and the occasional commercial TI in Portland and Seattle. Though we pride ourselves on being top-notch builders and good members of our communities, it’s not often that we get to be involved in a project that is designed around the concept of community building itself. Working on the Alder Commons community kitchen build-out was a rare treat for us, and one that meant a lot to many members of our team.

For the uninitiated, Alder Commons is a nonprofit space designed to facilitate multigenerational, multicultural community building and personal growth. They provide a place for self-directed learning in classes and workshops on a wide range of topics and for a diverse array of peoples. From cooking classes to bookshelf building, art courses to homeschool hangouts for kids in the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities, Alder Commons serves as a community crossroad for intersectional cultural appreciation and self-improvement.

β€œOur mission is to cultivate an equitable, all-ages community of self-directed learners. We aim to reduce barriers between youth and adults of diverse backgrounds by providing an accessible and inclusive space for them to share knowledge and resources.” (source: Alder Commons | Philosophy)

When the Alder Commons team approached Hammer & Hand about building their community kitchen space, we were thrilled for the opportunity to bring their dream to life. The project was designed by Communitecture, a local architecture firm with an eye for creative community spaces and a mission for social justice. As traditional builders with a focus in both design-driven projects and progressing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our own industry, it was a perfect fit for Hammer & Hand. We express our heartfelt gratitude to Alder Commons for choosing Hammer & Hand to build a space that is now a commissary kitchen serving as home base for 16 small, majority-QTBIPOC food and herbalism businesses.

Learn more about the mission of Alder Commons and check out their calendar of events at

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