Washington Fruit and Produce Co. Headquarters, Yakima

Washington Fruit and Produce Co. HQ, Yakima Building, American Office Architecture

Washington Fruit and Produce Co. Headquarters, Yakima

American HQ Development in WA, USA – design by Graham Baba Architects

Jun 18, 2017

Washington Fruit and Produce Co. Headquarters in Yakima

Design: Graham Baba Architects

Location: Yakima, Washington, USA

Washington Fruit and Produce Co. Headquarters in Yakima

Agriculture is the dominating influence in Yakima, where good volcanic soil, sunny days, and irrigation from the Yakima River support the area’s many fruit orchards. The area is a leader nationally in value of agricultural products sold.

Photographs: Kevin Scott

Washington Fruit and Produce Co. Headquarters, Yakima

Washington Fruit, family owned and operated since 1916, grows, packs and ships premium fruit products from the northwest throughout the world. The company’s facilities occupy 90 acres of industrial land, including some of the most advanced sorting and packing equipment in existence.

Washington Fruit and Produce Co. Headquarters, Yakima

The project is located on flat, river-bed industrial land bordered by a major freeway. The fruit processing facilities that dominate the area are concrete tilt-up boxes, surrounded by acres of pavement, trucks and refrigeration equipment. Company leaders desired a new office/headquarters that would serve as a refuge from the industrial agribusiness landscape. They asked for warmer materials, no concrete, non-boxlike forms, protection from the freeway, and minimal visible equipment or devices. Light and acoustics were high priorities.

Washington Fruit and Produce Co. Headquarters, Yakima

The approach for the new office was to create an inwardly focused oasis. The building is surrounded by earth berms and a site wall placed so that views out are directed upward toward the basalt hills and the foreground of freeways and industrial agribusiness are obscured. At the heart of the place is a landscaped courtyard onto which most of the project’s occupied spaces are oriented.

An abandoned wood barn was the single architectural reference given to the design team. The barn’s diagonal structural members were exposed and the remaining wood siding was deeply weathered. It provided a metaphor for the new building. It is imagined as a barn in some state of decay and nature in the process of reclamation. Parts of the simple gable form have been “removed” or lost. In those places glass is exposed and trees and grass are taking over. The structure is “exposed” and expressed as diagonals. Accordingly, columns are sloped and twisted. The outer shell is clad in reclaimed barnwood from nearby sources.

Washington Fruit and Produce Co. Headquarters, Yakima

The lunchroom, which includes a kitchen and table for 30, provides a gathering space for weekly meals when field staff come in from the orchards. The event allows the people who grow the fruit to mingle with those who sell it.

Site planning to minimize heat gain and electric lighting was the main sustainability strategy. The best plan option was to orient the glazing north and some east. With back-of-house program kept to the west edge to block low west sun, the resulting “L” plan orients views to the north. Yakima averages 290 sunny days/year so the tall window wall almost eliminates the need for electric lighting. There is a south-facing clerestory to balance daylight. Photocells balance light on darker days. Deciduous trees are planted at south windows of the lunchroom and executive offices.

The use of locally sourced SIPS panels, provided a continuous insulation layer and allowed for fast construction with minimal waste. The design of the earth berms allowed for minimal cut/fill as well as burying the lunchroom, naturally insulating the roof.

Washington Fruit and Produce Co. Headquarters, Yakima

Washington Fruit and Produce Co. Headquarters, Yakima – Building Information

WASHINGTON FRUIT & PRODUCE CO. HEADQUARTERS, Yakima, Washington | 2016
Architects: Graham Baba Architects
Client: Washington Fruit & Produce Co.
General Contractor: Artisan Inc.
Photographer: Kevin Scott

Washington Fruit and Produce Co. Headquarters Building wins an American Architecture Award

One of seventy-nine shortlisted buildings that have won the prestigious 2017 American Architecture Awards ® for the best new buildings designed and constructed by American architects in the U.S. and abroad and by international architects for buildings designed and built in the United States.

Washington Fruit and Produce Co. Headquarters, Yakima images / information from The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies


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