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‘Sharp’: new design submitted for planned Wassmuth Education Center in Boise

A new education center is planned to pop up next to the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial. 

The city previously approved a design for the Wassmuth Education Center along 9th St. in Boise. Since then, the center made modifications that reduce the project price while still trying to keep the same “aesthetic” of the original design. The listed major changes include subbing out stucco for stack stone veneer, removing the north-facing portal window, and the reduction of on-site plantings. 

“The revised design retains the buildings’ simple, elegant planes and quote walls, switching from a stacked stone veneer to a textured stucco finish, broken up by reveals and color changes to create definition in the walls,” the application letter said. “At the north façade the extensive window glazing referred to as ‘portals’ have been simplified while maintaining their size and pulled back to the north wall plane. At the top of the building a CLT roof plane floats above a ribbon of glass.”

Wassmuth Center Boise
A diagram of the new Wassmuth Center expansion in Downtown Boise. Via Erstad Architects/BoiseDev graphic

The Wassmuth Education Center would have a small plaza at the entry doors for people to gather before tours. The application said the center believes the architecture of the building will add diversity to the surrounding buildings. 

“The new Wassmuth Education Center provides architectural diversity among the various office, residential, and city buildings within the River street area,” the application said. “Its design is original and distinctive, and we believe that it will become both an architectural as well as community landmark.”

View of the center at night. Via Erstad Architects

In the application, the building is described “sharp, clean, and monumental.” The education center would sit near the Anne Frank Human Rights memorial but would still allow for privacy near the quote circle. 

“The building, with its sharp, clean, monumental forms, will provide a backdrop for the existing Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial and maintain the privacy and intimacy of the quote circle directly south,” the application said. “A thin sloping shed roof floats above the monolithic walls, separated by ribbon windows, and rises in the direction of downtown. The buildings’ monolithic walls pass each other with storefront stretching between their planes and allowing ample light and visual interest into the spaces.”

The center will be named the Philip E. Batt Building after the former Idaho governor to honor his work in human rights. If approved, construction is set to start in mid-October, and the center would open August 2023.

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Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Meridian and McCall. Contact her at [email protected].

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