The Washington Fruit & Produce Company headquarters celebrates the natural and cultural history of the Yakima River Valley by demonstrating that natural and man made systems can coexist in design and function. The resulting project provides a calming work environment serving as a symbol of the company and their connection to the land.
A square shaped, earthen landform embraces the structure, choreographs the arrival experience and establishes the boundaries of the large central courtyard propagated with native plants demonstrating their adaptability in a managed landscape for habitat and ecological awareness. The height and slope of the berm provides shelter for the building and creates a structured microcosm of the nearby riparian corridor within the courtyard. An opening in the berm establishes an intuitive entry and looks back through the aperture to distant hills and the gap through which the Yakima River passes.
The entire interior office space looks onto the large courtyard allowing everyone visual access to the restorative space. A green roof stretches from the berm to cover the lunchroom providing a literal and symbolic connection to the land while a long, wooden entry walk, slightly elevated above the adjacent landscape, gives the impression of a boardwalk to strengthen the site’s connection to the nearby river.