Graham Baba Architects

Washington Fruit & Produce Co. Headquarters

Yakima, USA - 2016
13. 2月 2017

Washington Fruit & Produce Co. Headquarters

2016
Yakima, Washington

Client
Washington Fruit & Produce Co.

Architect
Graham Baba Architects
Seattle, WA

Design Principal
Brett Baba

Project Architect
Hill Pierce

Project Manager
Jenn LaFreniere

Structural Engineer
MA Wright, LLC

MEP/FP Engineer
ARUP

Landscape Architect
The Berger Partnership

Lighting Designer
Brian Hood Lighting

Interior Designer
Graham Baba Architects & Interior Motiv

Contractor
Artisan Construction

SIPS (Structurally Insulated Panels) Roof
Premier SIPS

Glulam
Selkirk Timberwrights

Glazing
Pacific Window Systems

Custom Furniture & White Oak Paneling
Stusser Woodworks

Interior Custom Woodworking
Millwork Preservation

Site Area
30.47 acres

Building Area
16,500 sf

Last year the family owned and operated Washington Fruit & Produce Co. celebrated its 100th anniversary, having been incorporated in 1916 to grow, pack, and ship fruit from the the state's Yakima Valley. What better way to celebrate than move its headquarters into a new building that appears rooted in the same landscape that bears the company's apples, pears, and cherries. Graham Baba Architects answered a few questions about the building they describe as an oasis within the industrial agribusiness landscape.
What were the circumstances of receiving the commission for this project?
The firm had previously completed a residence for one of the owners of the company and had deep knowledge of the climate and geography of the Yakima River Valley (Brett Baba, a co-founder of Graham Baba was raised in Yakima). The company contacted the firm to provide a feasibility study for the project, which eventually led to full design services. 
Please provide an overview of the project.
Washington Fruit & Produce Co. is a 16,500-square-foot office building with twelve private offices, two conference rooms, open workspace for 50-60 employees, and a lunch room with seating for 30; all of which have views out to the adjacent curated landscape and hills beyond. 
What are the main ideas and inspirations influencing the design of the building?
An abandoned wood barn was the single architectural reference given to the design team and provided inspiration for the new building; its state of decay leaving only deeply weather siding and exposed structural members. As Yakima leads the nation in agriculture, it seemed appropriate that the new building gave a nod to the history of the area. Additional desires included a warm material palette, non-boxlike forms, open work spaces, natural light, and a special community lunch room with one large communal table.
How does the design respond to the unique qualities of the site?
The project is located on flat, river-bed industrial land, and bordered by a major freeway. The fruit processing facilities that dominate the area are concrete tilt-up boxes, surrounded by acres of pavement. Company leaders desired a new office/headquarters that would serve as a refuge from the industrial agribusiness landscape. 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.
Aerial Perspective
Was the project influenced by any trends in energy-conservation, construction, or design?
Site planning to minimize heat gain while maximizing daylighting was the principle energy conservation strategy. The most effective 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 per 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. 
Site Plan
Floor Plan
What products or materials have contributed to the success of the completed building?
The use of locally sourced pre-fabricated SIPS panels and glulam structure allowed for fast construction of the superstructure with minimal waste. Sixteen thousand square feet of locally reclaimed barnwood was used on both the interior and exterior of the building, contributing largely to the warm and sustainable material palette. The design also allowed for minimal cut and fill, as the soil removed during excavation was used in the design of the berms; a strategy that also allowed the lunch room to be buried, naturally insulating the roof.

Email interview conducted by John Hill.
Building Section

Washington Fruit & Produce Co. Headquarters

2016
Yakima, Washington

Client
Washington Fruit & Produce Co.

Architect
Graham Baba Architects
Seattle, WA

Design Principal
Brett Baba

Project Architect
Hill Pierce

Project Manager
Jenn LaFreniere

Structural Engineer
MA Wright, LLC

MEP/FP Engineer
ARUP

Landscape Architect
The Berger Partnership

Lighting Designer
Brian Hood Lighting

Interior Designer
Graham Baba Architects & Interior Motiv

Contractor
Artisan Construction

SIPS (Structurally Insulated Panels) Roof
Premier SIPS

Glulam
Selkirk Timberwrights

Glazing
Pacific Window Systems

Custom Furniture & White Oak Paneling
Stusser Woodworks

Interior Custom Woodworking
Millwork Preservation

Site Area
30.47 acres

Building Area
16,500 sf

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