Welcome to Twin Falls
Set on a sprawling, organically landscaped 90 acres and home to two production lines, Clif Bar Baking Co. of Twin Falls establishes itself immediately as a different kind of bakery. When scouting sites for the new facility, Clif Bar wanted a location where the company could erect a building that connected its people, business and brands to the community, while doing its part to sustain the planet.
Once it chose Twin Falls, Clif Bar worked with Idaho-based companies Babcock Design Group and DC Engineering for architectural and engineering services and Stock CMS for general contracting.
Twin Falls, with its natural beauty and agricultural community, set the perfect stage to construct a plant worthy of the five aspirations. This 300,000-square-foot facility acts as a vessel to bring the majesty of Twin Falls right into the building. The bakery relied on biophilic design — the innovative strategy of literally and conceptually bringing nature inside — to connect Clif’s people to the area’s beauty through the building itself.
“Biophilia helps point the way toward creating healthy and productive habitats for our people by reconnecting the natural environment with the workplace,” Mr. Berger said.
Atypical of most food production plants, windows played a significant role in the building design, including floor-to-ceiling glass in the facility’s break area.
“We carefully oriented the building so that the break room and health and wellness center would have the best views of the mountains,” Mr. Berger said, describing these spaces as places of sanctuary where employees can eat, rest and connect to nature and one another.
“If I’m not working, I want to be outdoors, so the next best thing is working here and still having that connection outside,” said Dale Ducommun, general manager.
Natural light is a common theme throughout the facility, and in some areas, vaulted skylights bring sunshine down on stone walls to give it a canyon-like feel.
“This architectural feature was an exciting way to connect with the region’s most significant natural landmark, the Snake River Canyon,” Mr. Berger explained.
Sanctuary is a common thread throughout many areas of the building. Rather than seeing it as simply a food production plant, Clif Bar Baking Co. sees this as a place to call home. Many aspects of the building mimic those of the Emeryville headquarters but with a Twin Falls twist. For instance, the bakery includes its own health and wellness facility designed to meet the needs specific to Twin Falls employees.
“We asked our people what they want to see in the health and wellness space — that was really our focus. They tell us what they’re going to use, and we’ll put it in there,” Mr. Ducommun said.
As at the Emeryville headquarters’ auditorium, where weekly all-company meetings and events like parties and fundraisers are held, the Twin Falls bakery will also have a designated meeting space for such activities. But in celebration of Idaho’s natural resources, construction is underway for an outside event space; when not in use, it will have patio furniture where employees may enjoy lunch or breaks outdoors. Keeping with the biophilic design, large sliding glass doors open the indoor “team room” out to the event space for indoor/outdoor events.
Of course, cycling — that sport so dear to Mr. Erickson — found its way into the bakery not only as a way to connect to the outside but also as an internal means of transportation. “Fat tire” bikes are available for employees to cruise around the property at break time, and tricycles are located inside the 0.33-mile-long production area. Employees are encouraged to ride their own bikes to work, where bike racks are equipped with tire pumps and lifts for quick repair.