The Mill

  • LOCATION: Vancouver, WA
  • COMPLETED: 2016


Formerly known as Garrison Square, The Mill is a retail development in Vancouver, Washington.  Desiring to attract new tenants that would transform the development from a shopping center into a destination, the owner chose to rebrand the site and revitalize the exterior façade.  Used as inspiration for the new design, the name, “The Mill”, was chosen to highlight Vancouver’s rich history in wood products and processing.

In designing the new exterior, the design team looked for ways to break up the long façade, adding scale and importance to larger anchor tenants.  Each sector has its own distinct treatment that fits into an overall scheme.  Cedar wood elements tie to the project’s name and create a warm, inviting environment.  The long façade of major tenant Planet Fitness was used to tie together two different wood scales and stains used in other areas.  Color-changing LED vertical wall wash lights in their brand colors create interest, drawing the eye deep into the site.  Seeing the value of providing space for general gathering, the owner opted to remove a tenant space and replace it with an all-season patio space, adding skylights and glass sectional doors out to a landscaped area with outdoor seating.

Another part of the project transformed an existing hardware store into a space for Parkrose Hardware.  At the entry, an existing steel canopy and concrete structure was repurposed as the base to a cedar slat canopy for the garden area.  On the interior, existing solid sawn and glu-lam beams were sandblasted and left exposed, and new skylights were installed to spread natural light throughout the space.