Whole Foods Market – River Park Place

Boise, Idaho

Boise’s first Whole Foods Market (River Park Place) is prominently located at the crossroads of three major thoroughfares.  CSHQA worked closely with the mayor’s office, city and county planning offices, and the owner, developer and tenant (Whole Foods) to create this gateway project. The site and structures are uniquely identifiable and visually interesting, employ strong sustainability and energy saving standards, and project a welcoming atmosphere to the Boise community. The project earned two Green Globes from The Green Building Initiative.

As with all Whole Foods, the 42,000 sf Boise store celebrates local heritage and defining environments.  Boise is known for the remarkably clean and well-loved Boise River and one of the longest continuous greenbelts in the nation. The River Room, a mezzanine-level pub, features floor-to-ceiling windows and territorial views. Kayak-blue prints decorate the restrooms and wall paintings display local produce and farming.

Ornamental iron and wood trellises convey the look of tree canopies on the exterior of the building and outdoor seating. At the request of the city, the entire lot is slightly sunken compared to street level and hidden by low perimeter walls and landscape. Permeable pavers cover about 1/5 of the site and manage all storm water run-off for the site and buildings.

Sustainable and Engineering Design Notes
Energy Smart Design

  • Building orientation, overhangs, awnings, and glazing prevent excessive solar heat gain
  • Solar tubes, skylights and clerestory windows draw natural daylight inside
  • Sensors dim lights based on available daylight
  • Reclaims refrigeration “heat”
  • Evaporative-chiller refrigeration

Local & Sustainable Materials

  • FSC-certified wood
  • Low-VOC coatings
  • Highly durable materials

Local Art & Culture

  • Local artists’ work featured throughout
  • Local kayak builder’s blueprints serve as wall paper
  • Landscaped area for community and outdoor events

Environmental Site Design

  • Street lamps are reminiscent of the turn of the 20th century, yet are highly efficient
  • The 250-stall parking lot serves another important function — it manages 100 percent of the site’s storm water without connecting to the city utility
  • The plants used throughout the site are drought tolerant and hardy for the high desert environment


City of Boise Building Excellence Award
Best Overall Project and Best Sustainable Commercial Project

City of Boise Building Excellence Award
Best Green Commercial Project

Green Building Initiative (GBI)
Two Green Globes® Rating

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