Location: Wenatchee, Washington
Located in the City of Wenatchee’s Columbia Riverfront area, the Pybus Market represents the culmination of many years of planning by the Port of Chelan County and the City of Wenatchee. The Port and City sought to create a new focal point for the city and community that captured the history and culture of the area, and that established a permanent home for the Wenatchee Valley Farmer’s Market. The selected site, the Pybus warehouse building, was a large, overlooked structure that had been erected shortly after World War II. As the first all-metal building in Wenatchee, it served as home for the E.T. Pybus Steel Company for many decades. With the company's departure, the once active engine of the local economy went silent and the building fell into disrepair.
Rather than tearing down the roughly 82-foot-wide-by-302-foot-long warehouse in favor of a new facility, the community and architects saw the opportunity to build a new public market within the historic shell. Since the structure already possessed great bones, the goal was to stabilize what was already there—celebrating the gritty, industrial look-and-feel of the structure—while making it safe, useful, and inviting. Emphasizing the interior volume which soars to 41 feet through the center of the building, the design preserves the structure's overall shape and transforms the unheated steel form into a fully-enclosed year-round market. Entry is gained through large, 21-foot-tall sliding steel doors, which were fabricated using steel remnants from the original building. The success of the project, driven by an economy of means, is in the aggregate of small, authentic, thoughtful moves, rather than a big architectural statement.
All exterior cladding and glazing (windows, doors, garage doors, and the clerestory band) is new—the existing metal walls could not be salvaged—and replaced with Bonderized steel, which will slowly weather with time. A code compliant roof was built on top of the existing roof, preserving the original roof as the interior finish, further revealing the building's hard won patina. All signage is new.
With 18 stalls for local vendors, the Pybus Market is now a 25,000-square-foot permanent home for the Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market. The market establishes this place as a local, regional, and tourist destination location, and brings together regional food distribution and opportunities for new and emerging endeavors within the Wenatchee Valley.
Photography: Ed Sozinho
2014 AIA Washington Council Civil Merit Award
2014 Historic Preservation Award, Excellence on Main