Weyerhaeuser Headquarters
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Architect Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM)
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Location near Tacoma, Washington   map
Date 1971   timeline
Building Type commercial offices, groundscraper, corporate headquarters
 Construction System long span concrete, silicone-glazed glass
Climate temperate
Context rural
Style Modern
Notes Daylit horizontal "groundscraper", highly open office floors with low partitions allowing views for almost everyone.






Plan Drawing

Section Drawing

Site Plan Drawing

Site Plan Drawing   AW FREE TRIAL IMAGE at ArchitectureWeek

Drawing, Transverse Section  at ArchitectureWeek

Available on The GBC CD-ROM.

Discussion Weyerhaeuser Headquarters Commentary

"In 1971 the corporate headquarters of the Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world's largest manufacturers of wood products, was built on a 480-acre site in suburban Tacoma. At the same time a system of roadways and paths was planned for a number of future structures on the site. In 1974 the new building was planned to provide a close mixing of office, laboratory and development as well as support spaces in a configuration that would promote as much visual and physical contact between researchers working in different disciplines or projects as possible. Laboratories and all other work spaces were to be undedicated and anonymous, allowing for maximum functional and personal flexibility.

"The final design has three distinct but connected parts. First, a two-story glazed pavilion, the second story of which is free of exterior walls. This contains laboratory and office space. Second, a parallel link on two levels containing entry lobbies, cafeteria, meeting rooms and library. Third, a two-story space containing large-scale development equipment which is totally without exterior glazing. The entire property was originally heavily wooded. This was partially cleared to provide a site for the corporate headquarters. The Technology Center is sited in the portion that remains wooded in a manner that as few trees as possible were cleared for the building or exterior parking. The glazing of the pavilion is clear rather than tinted or reflective glass with the result of not changing the perception of being next to a green wall. The fact that the offices are entirely planned to be in the open makes these exterior views possible throughout the building. In addition to the open office plan, all light fixtures for general illumination are contained within the furniture pieces and no lighting is contained in the ceiling.

"The structural system for the office, laboratory pavilion is a system of heavy timber girders and columns. Foundations and suspended floor slabs are of reinforced concrete. Concrete masonry shear walls brace this support structure and anchor the 220,000-square-foot plywood diaphragm roof. The development area has masonry walls which are clad with modular cedar panels."

— from Oswald W. Grebe. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill: Architecture and Urbanism 1973-1983. p90.

Sources on Weyerhaeuser Headquarters

ArchitectureWeek. "Enduring Beauty at Weyerhaeuser Headquarters", ArchitectureWeek No. 33, 2001.0110, pN1.1.

Oswald W. Grebe. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill: Architecture and Urbanism 1973-1983. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1983. ISBN 0-442-21169-4. LC 83-16955. NA 737.S53B87 1984. discussion, p90. Color photo of interior view of the office pavillion, f6, p95.

Roger Montgomery. "A Building That Makes Its Own Landscape", Architectural Forum. March 1972. Vol 136 Number 3. p20. drawing of fourth floor (entrance level) plan, p23. drawing of site plan, p22. drawing of longitudinal section, p23.

James S. Russell. "The New Workplace", Architectural Record, June 1992. photo and disscussion, p72.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

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