Stunning, award-winning architecture can be found in unlikely places – even next to industrial processing yards in Yakima, Washington. That’s where you’ll find the Washington Fruit & Produce Co. Headquarters, designed by Graham Baba Architects who describe the project as “an oasis amidst a sea of concrete” that takes cues from the rural landscape. Surrounded by board-formed concrete walls and earthen berms constructed from soil excavated on-site, the light-filled, green-roofed office is made from natural materials and feels more like a welcoming modern home than a dreary cubicle world.
Inspired by the appearance of an aging barn, the 16,500-square-foot Washington Fruit & Produce Co. Headquarters design combines the rural vernacular with a contemporary aesthetic. Exposed trusses and soaring ceilings evoke airy barns, while the 18-foot-tall scissored glulam structural columns—located on the outside for a column-free interior—reinforce the building’s agricultural roots. Full-height glazing wraps the facade to let in light and views of the distant hills while large south-facing overhangs mitigate solar gain.
The relatively minimalist interior with its palette of natural materials helps keep the focus on the outdoors, from the berm-wrapped courtyard and accessible green roof to Yakima Valley’s basalt formations and hills. A separate structure houses a 30-foot-long table for communal meals. The Washington Fruit & Produce Co. Headquarters in Yakima won a 2016 Northwest and Pacific Region Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects.
Images via Graham Baba Architects and Kevin Scott/em>