The Pharrell Williams Resource Center is a design that represents the future for youth centers. The treehouse concepts aims to inspire future generations through architecture providing a place where kids can escape and imagine. A unique combination of architect Chad Oppenheim of Oppenheim Architecture + Design and musical impressario Pharrell Williams they are hoping that this youth center will set a new standard for the way the world builds for its future. “We’re creating an environment to house creativity,” said Chad about his design. “Pharrell is a visionary renaissance man, and this center is a reflection of his passion for education and natural design sensibility.” The PWRC is slated for completion by 2013.
After meeting at Art Basel in 2008, 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.
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 facility 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—a passion shared by both Pharrell and Chad.
“I believe the architecture of a building says a lot about its soul and I wanted a building for the center that makes a statement to the world and the kids – something that will stand as a monument of optimism, and felt Chad was the only architect that could capture that.” said Pharrell. “We want the building to look like something out of the future, so it will inspire the kids in it to aspire to greater things.”
Kiehl’s signed on to support Pharrell’s charity From 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 kids 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.
Architects: Oppenheim Architecture + Design Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA Project Area: 30,000 sqf Project Year: 2013