“An Eastern Washington fruit and produce company has used carefully designed landscape to create a headquarters site that celebrates its connection to the region’s agricultural history and creates an inspiring work environment for its employees. Surrounded by a major highway, industrial buildings, and the company’s own processing facilities, a simple earthen landform of native plantings wraps the building and courtyard to make a calming, lush, inward-focused green oasis that resembles the local ecology in miniature. A walkway cuts through the berm, providing glimpses of the surrounding hills, and a green roof on top of the lunchroom reinforces the company’s intrinsic ties to the land.”
– 2019 Awards Jury
Washington Fruit & Produce Company grows and ships premium fruit around the world. The owners wanted to create a work environment representative of the company and their connection to the area’s agricultural history. Located in arid Eastern Washington, surrounded by a major highway and industrial fruit storage and processing facilities, a simple earthen landform of native plantings wraps the building and courtyard creating a lush green oasis. This calming setting provides light-filled upward and inward views of the surrounding hills while screening the nearby industrial activities.
▲场地剖面图和平面图。Site section and plan of Washington Fruit
▲被塑造的视野：板状混凝土墙的高度在12-14英尺之间，能够将人们的视野从葱郁的庭院引向周围的玄武岩山脉，同时又对停车场区域、高速公路以及附近的水果包装车间起到遮挡的作用。Sculpted Views: Board-formed concrete walls, 12-14 feet high, direct courtyard views toward the surrounding basalt hills enveloping the lush courtyard and concealing the facility’s parking lot, a busy highway interchange and the adjacent fruit packing facility.
▲荒漠中的阴凉：板状混凝土墙将覆盖着野草和野花的挡土坡围绕起来。用于防止果树受到冰雹毁坏的农用布料被悬挂在改良的果园棚架上，使停车区域得以远离强烈的日晒。Desert Shade: The earthen berm, planted with grasses and wildflowers, is seemingly held back by the board-formed perimeter walls. Agricultural shade cloth and repurposed orchard trellises, used to protect fruit trees from hail, provide the parking area relief from the hot sun.
▲河畔的绿洲：在进入场地后，公司的员工和客人将置身于精心规划的河岸生态景观之中。设计的灵感来自于附近雅基马河的阴凉空地。颤杨树与地面上的水苔草和红瑞木共同突显了当地树种的鲜为人知的美。 Riverine Oasis: Upon entering, employees and guests are treated to a curated riparian ecology inspired by shady respites found along the nearby Yakima River. Quaking Aspen, among an understory of Carex aquatilis and Cornus sericea celebrate a native palette rarely recognized.
▲沉浸于绿色：建筑的设计灵感源于客户拥有的一座废弃谷仓。绿色屋顶顺着地势延伸至餐厅顶部，为公司员工带来一种沉浸在绿植中的体验。Green Immersion: The architecture, inspired by an abandoned barn on the owner’s property, is engulfed by a green roof that stretches from the landform atop the lunchroom pavilion, creating a sense of immersion for employees.
▲模糊边界：庭院的周围环绕着玻璃，使室内空间看上去更加宽敞。设计团队的工作包括对室内和室外空间以及它们之间的关系进行细致的考量。Blurring the Lines: The courtyard is surrounded by reflective glazing, which makes the space seem more expansive. The collaboration of the design team included careful consideration of both interior and exterior spaces and the relationship between them.
▲丰富的肌理：灯心草、鸢尾花和桦树的细腻纹理为庭院赋予了视觉上的深度。石块和玄武岩碎石暗示了水的存在。Textured Impressions: Delicate and fine textures of Juncus, Iris and Birch trees provide visual depth to the courtyard. Stones and crushed basalt mulch suggest the presence of water.
▲从将北部挡土坡一分为二的混凝土围墙俯瞰庭院。照片右侧可以看见餐厅的绿色屋顶。来自河岸的原生物种被整齐地种植在场地内，呈现出果园和农田般的样貌。Overview of the courtyard from atop the concrete wall bisecting the northern berm. The lunchroom vegetative roof is visible to the right. Plantings, almost all riparian natives, are placed in linear rows like orchard trees or agrarian crops.
▲适应气候的种植策略：办公楼周围的土丘上覆盖着包括月见草在内的多种本地多年生植物。草皮的部分主要选用了耐旱的细叶草，能够减少对水和修剪的需求。Planting for Climate: A mix of over a dozen native perennials and grasses including Evening Primrose blanket the mounds surrounding the office building. The lower turf area is a drought-tolerant fescue mix with reduced water and mowing requirements.
▲回顾农业历史：植物和岩石的布局与建筑柱网相呼应，而未采用典型的三角形或分散式布局，这种做法将场地与其农业和生态历史从视觉上连接起来。Recalling an Agricultural Past: Plantings and stones deliberately arrayed with the same grid as the building columns, instead of a typical triangular or random spacing of plants, provide a visual connection to the site’s agricultural and ecologically important past.
▲实用的休憩之所：从主办公楼望向草地对面的餐厅。庭院中的绿植区域能够使降水充分渗透。Functional Respite: The view north from the main office building to the lunchroom with a foreground of emergent understory. The courtyard planting areas infiltrate stormwater.
▲近岸栖息地：望向葱郁的、种满木贼草和纸皮桦的庭院。Nearshore Habitat: Employees look out to this lush courtyard filled with scouring rush and paper birch.
▲景观层次：从西侧望向餐厅和办公楼之间的步道，层次丰富的铺装元素包括木材、预制混凝土板和玄武岩碎石，起到直观的导向作用。Landscape Hierarchy: Looking west at the passage between the lunchroom and the main office, the hierarchy of paving types including wood, precast concrete pavers and crushed basalt provide intuitive wayfinding and define uses.
▲木制步道：入口的木制步道使用龙凤檀木制成，沿路种植着百里香和纸皮桦。产自当地的玄武岩给人带来一种穿越河岸湿地般的感受。Wooden Boardwalk: The entry boardwalk built with cumaru wood and lined with Elfin Thyme cuts through the midst of the Paper Birch grove. Local basalt adds to the sense of crossing a rich wetland at river’s edge.
▲农业带来的启发：从南侧望向形如谷仓的建筑，由回收的木材和乡村材料构成。绿色屋顶与挡土坡形成连接。近处是细叶草，远处是附近的水果加工和包装工厂。Agrarian Inspiration: Looking from the top of the southern landform, a barn silhouette of reclaimed wood and rustic materials transitions from vegetated roof to earthen berm with fescue in the foreground and the adjacent industrial fruit facilities in the background.
▲有层次感的到达路径：位于荒漠景观中的挡土坡为进入景观的人提供了视觉上的预期，同时起到隔绝公路噪音和遮挡附近工业设施的作用。Layered Arrival Sequence: The earthen berm, set in the high desert landscape of Eastern Washington choreographs the arrival sequence providing visual anticipation, reducing highway noise, and screening nearby industrial facilities en route to the headquarters of this family-owned fruit company.
The Washington Fruit offices sit in the fertile valley created by the floodplain confluence of the Yakima and Naches Rivers. At the turn of the century, this area was cleared, graded and turned over to various forms of agriculture. Washington Fruit has occupied the site for many years, with the company’s onsite processing and storage facilities which are just to the east of the new offices. The site’s most remarkable feature is the proximity to the river and the distant view of the hills to the north.
CONNECTION TO THE LAND
As part of balancing cut and fill on the site, a major landform was designed to embrace the structure and choreograph the entry experience, creating a structured microcosm of the nearby riparian corridor and establishing a sense of privacy in a wide-open space for the building occupants. The berm screens the adjacent industrial activities and highway noise, directing views from the headquarters to the surrounding hills.
Much in the way the riparian corridor and river serve as an oasis in this arid climate, the courtyard provides a cooling and calming effect. A board-form concrete wall, chosen for its similarity to the roughhewn wood clad building, bisects the berm and connects to the earth-sheltered lunchroom. This living roof provides a literal and symbolic connection to the land.
A wood-planked walkway, the main entry and exit point, bisects the courtyard and peels back the berm giving those leaving the site magnificent views of the distant hills and the gap through which the Yakima River passes. The entry walk is elevated slightly above the adjacent landscape giving the impression of a boardwalk, strengthening the riparian feel of the landscape. Floor to ceiling windows flood the interior with views, ensuring everyone visual access to nature and light.
SUSTAINABILITY IN AN ARID CLIMATE
Receiving an average of eight inches of rain per year, the site accommodates sustainable water use. All stormwater is collected and infiltrated onsite, reducing irrigation demand for the plant materials. Irrigation water is from non-potable sources. Soils and stones are from onsite or nearby local sources. Native species selected from the nearby riparian corridor and the surrounding hillsides improve habitat and require little water. The layout is evocative of both natural patterns and the ordered row planting of the site’s agricultural past. Strategically placed trees, more densely planted on the south side, and the agricultural shade structure reduce the heat island effect.
Native species from the nearby riparian corridor and the surrounding hillsides demonstrate their beauty and ability to adapt to a managed landscape. The planting recalls both natural patterns and the ordered row planting of the site’s agricultural past. A reminder of some of the first ornamental trees planted in the valley, non-native but culturally significant DED-resistant American elms and sugar maples, provide shade for the parking areas. Native Rocky Mountain Iris bloom in the early summer adding a surprising pop of purple and blue.
Washington Fruit and the community in which it resides have a strong connection to agriculture. The design team, who was shown an old barn as inspiration by the owner, sought to incorporate elements of that connection into the design. The core planting and native stones are laid out in a grid reminiscent of rows of orchards or crops. The grid dictates the layout of the building’s structural framework, and the building itself is evocative of a portion of an old barn structure. An agricultural shade cloth stretched over a trellis typically used for growing hop vines marks the entrance and provides much needed cover from the bright sun for the parking area.
This handsome and honest corporate headquarters building and landscape far surpass the industry standard and serve as proof of Washington Fruit & Produce’s longstanding commitment to its employees, which in turn fosters a highly dedicated and productive organization.