Fruit company’s HQ acts as an oasis among surrounding industrial processing yards

Graham Baba Architects designed the project around a central, landscaped courtyard.

March 21, 2017 |

Photo courtesy of Kevin Scott

Washington Fruit & Produce Company’s new headquarters building appears to have taken a few design cues from Frodo and Bilbo’s Shire. The building is tucked neatly behind landforms and site walls to blend in with the landscape and provide a refuge from the noise and activity of the industrial processing yards nearby.

The HQ building is modeled after an aging barn the client identified as a favorite with the result being a simple exposed structure that uses a limited material palette and natural patina. Board-formed concrete site walls and earthen berms wrap the perimeter of the HQ to form a central, landscaped courtyard.

Visitors coming from the parking area cross the courtyard via a boardwalk to reach the building entrance; a fully-glazed façade with a series of wood columns spaced across the building in regular intervals. The boardwalk aligns with an offset wood-wrapped entryway inserted into the glazed façade.


Photo courtesy of Kevin Scott.


The 18-foot-tall scissored glu-lam structural columns are pulled to the outside to enable the 175-foot-long interior space to be completely column free. The interior, which is topped with 68-foot-long exposed truss girders, reaches a maximum height of 20 feet.

Summer heat gain is limited via south-facing overhangs and high efficiency glazing. Meanwhile a long clerestory dormer on the south side balances interior light. Reclaimed barn wood siding and a weathering steel roof round out the exterior materials.

The interior provides offices along its south wall, while conference spaces and back-of-house functions are set in wood-clad boxes. Furnishings are all kept low in order to reinforce the open feeling of the structure and a raised flooring system further preserves the clean aesthetic of the HQ building.

The L-shaped structure also includes a sales office and a lunchroom featuring a 30-foot-long table where staff and farmers can gather for communal meals.


Photo courtesy of Kevin Scott.


Photo courtesy of Kevin Scott.


Photo courtesy of Kevin Scott.


Photo courtesy of Kevin Scott.

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