SOM in the Press

Recycle That Headquarters

Photo © Ezra Stoller | Esto

Source: The New Yorker

When Weyerhaeuser’s three-hundred-and-fifty-four-thousand-square-foot complex was new, it was simultaneously the last word in the suburban corporate estates that flourished during the postwar era (Eero Saarinen’s General Motors Technical Center, outside Detroit, was among the earliest) and the first word in environmental consciousness as company branding. Weyerhaeuser’s architect, Edward Charles Bassett, of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s San Francisco office, said of the design, “I wanted to find a point where the landscaping and the building simply could not be separated, that they were each a creature of the other and so dependent that they could hardly have survived alone.” The long, low building acts as a dam for a ten-acre artificial lake, with a wildflower meadow on one side and water on the other. (The landscape was designed by Sasaki, Walker and Associates.) The façade looks as much like foliage as structure, with stripes of concrete panels alternating with long, recessed windows and ivy-covered terraces.

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