30,000 SF Commercial
Architecture, Interior Design
Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
After meeting at Art Basel in 2008, musical impresario Pharrell Williams and Chad Oppenheim quickly realized they had a shared vision to make the world a better place. What resulted was an inspired youth center in Pharrell’s hometown of Virginia Beach. The Pharrell Williams Resource Center (working name) will not only become a place for kids to escape and imagine, but will set a new standard for the way the world builds for its future.
Oppenheim used a small forest on an open prairie, somehow saved from over development in the area, as the setting for the PWRC. Instead of observing the forest, he decided to engage and enhance it fully celebrating the wonders of the natural world with the design. The 30,000 square-foot eco-treehouse concept is imagined to empower the youth of Virginia Beach to reach their maximum potential and give a safe and nurturing environment to uncover and tune their passions. Rectilinear volume of different proportions and various reclaimed materials dance with and through the native trees, reconsidering a harmonious fusion between man and nature.
Kiehls signed on to support Pharrell’s charity From One Hand to Another (FOHTA), the non-profit group raising funds for the Center’s construction, largely in part due to its environmentally consciousness (with sustainable materials, wind turbines and forest integration) and eco-celebrity Pharrell.
The hope and goal is that the experiences children receive at the PWRC will have a positive effect on the community, through individual lives and how they apply that to their businesses, families and neighborhoods. The project’s objective is to create an environment to house creativity with a futuristic aesthetic to help inspire the kids in it to aspire to greater things.
Oppenheim Architecture + Design