Simple form bears fruit

Washington Fruit & Produce in Yakima, USA by Graham Baba Architects

The client, Washington Fruit & Produce, had a favourite barn that they wanted Graham Baba Architects to take their inspiration from. The solution was a building with simple geometry, an exposed structural frame and a natural patina, in a design that reflects the rural setting and a modern, scaled back aesthetic.

The soil that was excavated to build the 1,650 square metre office building was used to form rolling banks nearby, as a way to dampen the sound of the industrial buildings. An opening in the banks leads to the courtyard and entrance. What greets visitors is a 53-metre long building on one level, at most six metres tall, with an exposed glulam structure. There are no pillars on the inside, since the doubled and tied roof trusses extend through the façade, where they rest on crossed pairs of pillars.

Internally, the 20-metre long roof trusses remain exposed. They all have the same centre spacing, which has cut the cost of manufacture and assembly. Their repetitive design also allows for a natural division of the space into different rooms. The open-plan layout is broken up by meeting rooms and other functions.


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