The owners of the Washington Fruit & Produce Company in Yakima, Washington wanted a new office headquarters that could offer a sense of respite for their 60 employees, who are surrounded by a busy industrial environment of pavement, trucks, and refrigeration units. So, the company turned to Graham Baba Architects from Seattle to bring their vision to life. Last month, the building was selected as one of the architecture category winners in the 2018 AIA Institute Honor Awards.
Keep reading for more about the project.
Graham Baba Architects based the new office's design on the client's idea of an aging barn located where nature is in the process of reclamation. The 17,500 square-foot, single-story building emerges from surrounding fields of earthen berms.
At the heart of the building is a landscaped courtyard garden that is visible from almost anywhere inside. With ample daylight throughout, the building comprises almost 16,000 square-feet of reclaimed barn wood that altogether create a warm, inviting environment.
A raised floor inside hides nearly all of the building's mechanical systems, creating a cable- and device-free workspace. The building also includes a lunchroom with a table that can seat 30 people to host the company's weekly meals when field staff return from nearby orchards. Another distinct detail of the building is the sloping and twisting structural columns.
“The owners’ commitment to creating a respite from the industrial environment for their employees led to an exploration of curating views and outdoor spaces,” the jury wrote in their statement for the AIA Institute Honor Awards. “[The project] sits on the landscape beautifully and creates space for meaningful community.”
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