Olson Kundig Architects’ 1,700 square-foot office addition was inspired by wind turbines — they deconstructed the turbine down to its main parts, which include sections of the tower and the blades. Two sections are used as the entrance to the office – one lies horizontally on the ground and the other is stood vertically. Visitors and employees enter the office through the horizontal tube that pierces the ground level of the office and leads to the vertical tower and a spiral staircase with a skylight in the top. A large fan (shaped like wind turbine blades) and vent are suspended in the tube — this system operates like a solar chimney that pulls warm air up and out of the building to naturally ventilate it and reduce the cooling load.
Solar panels on the office’s sloped roof provide renewable energy, and the roof’s angle directs rainwater into a rain garden and the adjoining landscape. Inside the office, materials like steel and concrete are left raw and unfinished to minimize coatings and toxic materials, ensuring a healthy and safe working environment. The two-story office building attaches to the company’s manufacturing plant in Anacortes, Washington, where the fabrication of the wind turbine towers takes place.
Images © Olson Kundig Architects