East Valley Water District Headquarters / Highland, California

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On fortunate occasions I’m able to shoot a structure that is brand new. The benefits of photographing newly completed projects include a chance to capture the raw vision of the builders before employees and other occupants are able to settle in. This gives me a level of access that will likely never again be available. The East Valley Water District broke ground on their new headquarters facility in the late-summer of 2013. As of March 2014, the structure is all but completed and will complete an effort on the part of the water authority to consolidate the functions of the headquarters from three separate locations down to just one. The East Valley Water District Headquarters sits on a 22-acre plot amidst a comfortable valley at the foot of rolling mountains in Highland, California. The wide-open space gave designers the ability to choose an orientation and precise location to complement the structure and make for the most functional plan possible. Outside the facility rests pristine landscaping that incorporates pale stones and lush reddish-brown mulch in free-form plots, dotted with freshly planted shrubbery just beginning to sprout from the soil beneath. You can imagine the scenery in a few short months as the warm California sun grows the plant-life to add brilliant green accents to the structure and the landscape found just outside the doors of the headquarters.

The outside of the building signals a modern approach to the structure design, with cement support beams stretching vertically to support the long stretches of roof, giving way to auburn poles to hold the building’s skeleton firmly in place. Wood panels adorn the outer walls with breaks for windows framed in brown beams that compete the earth-tone rich outer color scheme.

A step inside the headquarters continues the modern and aforementioned crisp feel of new construction. Already the office spaces are aglow with the ample lighting schemes throughout the building. Some cubicles sit toward the middle of the floor plan and offer those who will call the office spaces home a chance at a personal slice of the office to call their own. The brown hues that pop on the outer walls is carried inside to accent the cubicles, cabinetry, and doors.

The off-white wall painting softens the mood while the aluminum window frames separate the panes of glass with a professional yet modern appeal. Frosted glass is strategically set in some of the office window frames to allow for shared lighting while maintaining a modest amount of privacy for the soon-to-be convening water authority employees and guests. The light abstract flooring choices are just the right touch to off-set the bolder colors of the doors and cabinets around the office.

The overall look of the office promises to provide the staff with a spacious and functional space in which to conduct their various duties while offering purposefully artistic elements that give the headquarters a modern and inviting feel.